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Swimmer who died at North Beach Sunday identified as 51-year-old from San Antonio

Rene Pecina was found unconscious on Sunday. North Beach does not have any lifeguards.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A suspected drowning was reported on the Fourth of July at North Beach near the local restaurant Fajitaville. The incident took place on a stretch of the beach that is not patrolled by lifeguards. 

The man who is suspected of drowning has been identified by medical examiners as 51-year-old Rene Pecina from San Antonio. Authorities said once they reached Pecina, he was unconscious. They then transported him to Spohn Shoreline hospital where he was confirmed dead.

This is the third person over the holiday weekend from San Antonio to die on local beaches. A father and a son recently died in Port Aransas after struggling with rough water conditions. 

"As a lifeguard, it's disappointing at the fact that there's no lifeguards here," said Emily Cardenas, a mother of two and a San Antonio native. 

Cardenas said she makes sure her kids keep a respectable distance from the water for their safety.

"I don't let them in the water because there's no lifeguard and since I have two babies, he can easily just run away while I'm watching them," she added.

She remembered the last time she and her friends came to the beach in Corpus and almost lost one to a drowning.

"This was coming from someone who knew how to swim, who was also a certified lifeguard, who would win almost every single meet that he was in," Cardenas added.

Luckily, he made it, but not everybody does. The General Manager of Fajitaville said he hopes that can change in the future.

"I would love to see lifeguards on this beach," GM Andrew Reyes said. "I would love to see two to three on any given Saturday and Sunday because that's when we have traffic. Our surf water is different. It is tough, and if you do not know how to be in it, it can be very dangerous."

He said lots of people head to North Beach during the summer, so having more eyes on folks enjoying the water could add better outcomes. He also said he's more than willing to work with the city to get those extra eyes and resources.

RELATED: Man identified after being struck by vehicle, killed on SPID Monday morning

RELATED: Surfside Park on North Beach to get $2.5-million-dollar makeover

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