Home World Man who fell into Alameda County canal feared drowned

Man who fell into Alameda County canal feared drowned


LIVERMORE — Despite a massive search, a Hollister man who fell into the Delta-Mendota Canal on Friday night remained missing Monday morning and was feared drowned, authorities said.

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said family and friends of Lester Ashcraft, 56, contacted deputies about 9:51 p.m. Friday saying he was with a group fishing when he fell into the canal near Grant Line Road and was swept away by the rapid southbound current.

His family and friends told responding deputies he slipped from a steep embankment and the current swept him away.

The group tried to rescue Ashcraft but was unsuccessful because he could not stay afloat due to the fast current, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office said the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority slowed the current from 3500 cubic feet per second to 900 cubic feet per second to aid the search, but conditions were still unsafe for divers.

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