A child died Saturday after falling into the Antioch Water District canal along Hillcrest Avenue in Antioch, according to police.
The 911 call came in around 2:15 p.m.
At least one other child was there and reportedly attempted to get the boy out of the water but failed saying he was whisked away.
A friend of the family on the scene said they were 12-year-old cousins. The fire district said he was "about 13." The boy's body was recovered from the canal just before 5 p.m. and was not immediately identified.
The Contra Costa Times reported while it was unclear why the boys went into the canal, police found a skateboard near the water's edge, suggesting the boys may have been playing in the area. They would have had to climb a 6-foot fence to get to the waterway.
NBC Bay Area talked to parents who live near the canal and they said they never knew how dangerous the canal was. The Water District told NBC Bay Area there's signage saying do not trespass running along the 40 miles of the canal. It also has at least one security person patrolling the canal 24 hours every day.
The water district canal is around 18 feet wide and around 10 feet deep, with steeply sloping sides and water that moves around 9 to 12 mph.
"These canals run all over Contra Costa County, and they're not safe, it's not safe for swimming," Fire Capt. Robert Marshall said.
Saturday's drowning was the second time this week that someone has died in the Contra Costa Canal. On Monday, 48-year-old Brentwood resident left a nearby hospital emergency room, jumped the fence and entered the water. His body was found Wednesday. He may have been intoxicated at the same.