SAN ANTONIO — The body of 19-year-old Nicholas Austin Mireles was recovered Friday, after police say his father attempted to rescue his teenage son before later dying at a nearby hospital.
Our sister station KIII-TV reported Nicholas's body was found between beach marker nine and 10 around 2:30 a.m. on Friday. It was shortly before noon on Wednesday that rescue crews responded to Port Aransas beach for a call of two swimmers in distress near mile marker nine.
The family said Nicholas was struggling in the water and his father, 47-year-old Richard Mireles, swam out to help him. Rescue crews were only able to pull Richard out of the water. He was taken to a hospital where he later died. The Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of death is suspected drowning.
"We are dealing with currents that vary from just within a few feet of each other so we got a very large search area and we are pretty much waiting on nature to take its course at this time," said Scott Burroughs, chief of police for the City of Port Aransas.
A friend of the Mireles' sent KENS 5 a full statement on behalf of the family:
“On Wednesday, June 30, the Mireles family was enjoying their beach vacation in Port Aransas. There were no flags or warnings on the beach to indicate rough waters. They were not swimming past any barriers, bouys, or flags. Water conditions changed quickly and several swimmers started to struggle. Nicholas (19) made sure his sisters were safe, but soon began to be pulled by the current.
"His Dad Richard tried to rescue him, and the waves were too much for both men. First responders were able to take Richard to the hospital where he died soon after. This is an extremely difficult time, and the Mireles family deserves privacy. This is the final statement they will make. To support them, please donate to their GoFundMe at: https://gofund.me/686dd56c or send donations to Life Restored Church.”
KENS 5 reached out to Port Aransas city officials about the family’s allegation of a lack of flags or warnings at the beach and how there weren't any barriers for the pair to swim beyond.
On Saturday, Chief of Police Scott Burroughs said, "Red flags were present at the entrances to the beach from the roadways and at the life guard towers. There are no 'designated' swim areas marked."
A family friend says there will be a small and private family service for Nicholas and Richard. She asked that those community members who may want to help donate to Life Restored Church in lieu of flowers. Pastor Alex Fleming told KENS 5 that Richard would bring his family to volunteer at his church and serve the homeless.
“He was instilling in his children and his family at a young age that it’s not about self. It's about actually helping others. It’s the greatest fulfillment that you could ever do with your life. So, that was a true father. That was a true great man,” Fleming said. “He truly lived and died with integrity.”