Port Arthur man drowns near Pleasure Island

Port Arthur man drowns near Pleasure Island

A Port Arthur man was pronounced dead Saturday, May 10, after rescue workers spent hours trying to find a way to retrieve the man, who had fallen from a Pleasure Island pier earlier that morning, but were unable to rescue him, before he drowned.

Christopher Ramirez, 26, of Port Arthur, was fishing with his girlfriend when he dropped his wallet in the water and jumped in to get it, Port Arthur police said in a press release. According to police, he was last seen struggling to stay above water along a fishing pier on North Levee Road on Pleasure Island.

Ramirez began calling for help and his girlfriend ran to her car get her cell phone and call 911. The girlfriend lost sight of Ramirez when she returned to the pier. The Port Arthur Fire Department water rescue team responded but had to suspend search operations due to poor conditions, the press release said.

At dawn, rescue workers resumed their search and recovered Ramirez’s body around 10 a.m.

Sgt. Scott Gaspard of Port Arthur Police Department said that police may never know exactly what caused Ramirez's death, but the weather conditions and the way Ramirez was dressed could have been a factor — the victim's uncle, Joe Delgadillo, told media that Ramirez was wearing steel-toed boots.

"We'll probably never know the complete answer," said Gaspard. "The current is really strong there that close to the rocks and the bank. The winds were high with the swells and the surf. It could have been all those factors together."

Justice of the Peace Marc DeRouen pronounced Ramirez dead at the scene. An autopsy was ordered.