Man drowns after saving daughter in kayaking accident, officials say

RIO VISTA, Calif. -- The U.S. Coast Guard says a 40-year-old father who went missing after his kayak flipped over was found dead.

Roni Avila, 40, of San Francisco, was kayaking with his 5-year-old daughter near a state park south of Sacramento on Sunday when the boat flipped over, causing them to go underwater. Officials say the pair was not wearing life jackets at the time of the incident.

Investigators say Avila carried his daughter on his shoulders until a jet skier spotted them and rescued the girl.

Avila went underwater again after his daughter was safe and did not resurface. His body was found later that day.

The incident was reported on Sunday afternoon. A search was conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard and Solano County and Sacramento County units, CBS San Francisco reports.

Family friend Olga Escobar said Avila's older daughter witnessed everything.

"She saw when he was waving and holding the sister with the other hand. And she started yelling at them to save her dad but it was hopeless," Escobar told CBS San Francisco.

She said they usually wear life jackets in the water but couldn't explain why they didn't this time. "[Avila] was very responsible with his daughter and he loved the two girls so much," Escobar said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for funeral costs, CBS Sacramento reports. It has raised nearly $30,000 in 24 hours.

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