22-Yr-Old Who Doesn’t Know How to Swim Dives in Raging River to Save 5-Yr-Old, Dies a Hero


Twenty-two-year-old Victor Mozqueda was walking near the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park last Saturday when he saw a little boy fall into the raging waters. In spite of not knowing how to swim, Mozqueda jumped in after 5-year-old Vincent Gonzalez, who was drowning under the powerful current.

Mozqueda continued to thrust the boy above water to get air, selflessly putting Vincent’s life above his own need for oxygen.

“He never let go of him even when they went down under the [currents] a few times,” wrote Mozqueda’s sister, Maria, on the GoFundMe page set up for her brother’s funeral expenses.

The page has raised over double its goal of $25,0000 in just 5 days.

Maria retells the chain of events of this tragic but heroic story on Victor’s GoFundMe:

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“Victor tragically passed away this morning trying to save Vincent Gonzalez (5 year old) who slipped into a river at Sequoia National Park. He was the first to jump into the water to save Vincent even though he didn’t know how to swim. Vincent’s parents jumped into the water as well but were unable to reach them as the currents were too strong. Three fisherman also tried to help but were unable to reach them.  Some how Victor kept pulling Vincent up so he could breathe. He never let go of him even when they went down under the [currents] a few times. The last effort he did was to throw Vincent out of the strong [current] so that his father could grab him. We have no idea how he managed to not let go of Vincent to save his own life. He pushed him out right before the current took him. He is Vincent’s Angel and a hero to all of us forever. We will forever be grateful for his courage, bravery and unselfish act. We will always miss you Victor and you will always live in our hearts. Vincent was in critical condition and unresponsive for 4 hours after the helicopter took him. He woke up a few hours ago. #VictorMyAngel

I’m Victor’s sister Maria and will be handling this account to pay for his funeral expenses. Thank you so much everyone, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Two hours later, rescuers were able to retrieve Victor’s lifeless body from the river.

Though initially in critical condition, Vincent is now a happy, healthy boy back at home.


While Victor’s family is devastated, even in their grief, they can see God’s mighty hand at work.

“God gave him super strength,” Maria told ABC News, after stating that her brother “didn’t think twice” about risking his life for another.

If you’d like to be a part of financially supporting Victor’s family during this grievous time, you may visit their GoFundMe here. Also, please join us in prayerful support, asking that God may give them the peace that passes understanding amidst their tragic loss.

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.