Sac Fire Attempts Water Rescue at Discovery Park

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SACRAMENTO --

Monday, rescue crews searched for the body of a mother who drowned in the Sacramento River while trying to save her daughters in the water off Discovery Park.

"People were trying to flag down boats," said Jackie Williams, who had just sat down on Tiscornia Beach when the commotion started. "Some random guy on the (beach) just saying you know 'help, help!'"

Family friends told FOX40 27-year-old Aasha Poudel, her two daughters and several other friends were wading in the river when they reach a spot where the river floor dropped off to about 10 feet deep, and they were caught in strong currents.

Friend Jagadish Shrestha said none of them could swim.

"The kids didn't have a life vest on nor (did) the mother," Williams told FOX40.

Poudel was trying to save her daughters when she drowned according to Shrestha.

Meanwhile several other beach goers ran in to help.

"A couple of people go inside and grab the kids out, and as soon as they did that the mother that was trying to help her child, she drowned trying to save her child," Williams recalled.

Shrestha said Poudel worked as a certified nursing assistant at UC Davis Medical Center.

Although she and her husband are originally from Nepal, she lived in Sacramento for the past seven years, said Shrestha.

The Sacramento Fire Department and Drowning Accident Rescue Team, better known as D.A.R.T, searched the water for Poudel's body for most of Monday.

Meanwhile Williams, a mother herself, can't understand why the family wasn't using the life vests which are provided for free on signs located around the park.

"It could have been prevented ... And the thing is they have plenty of life vests over there, when we came up there was at least 30-40 of them just lying down," Williams told FOX40.

Just five days earlier another drowning also occurred at Discovery Park, when a 20-year-old man was swimming, went underwater and never came back up, according to the Sacramento Fire Department.