[MMA] UFC Veteran Gilbert Aldana Dead

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Search continues for man at Lake Pleasant

12:30 PM Mountain Standard Time on Monday, March 12, 2007

By 3TV

Kim Martinez reports, 11 a.m. | Kim Martinez reports, 11:30 a.m.

The search continues today for a 29-year-old man who is believed to have drowned at Lake Pleasant yesterday.

The man has been identified as Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Gilbert Aldana of Chandler.

Aldana was just setting out on his boss' boat for a family outing Sunday morning when his shirt reportedly flew out of the boat and into the water. He dove in to try and grab it and started struggling. Someone dove in to help, but Aldana never resurfaced.

His aunt said they know he's gone, but it's hard to accept.

"It's terrible. It's awful just knowing that my nephew is in that water," Marlene Crespin said.

Sonar boats were brought in to try and locate Aldana.

"This water is very unforgiving," said Fire Marshal Howard Munding with the Peoria Fire Department. "What you see above the water is the same thing that's underneath it. There are trees, rocks, cliffs -- you don't know what you're diving into."

Munding said there were nine drownings in the city of Peoria last year. Eight of those were at Lake Pleasant.

"You need to be wearing a life jacket," Munding said. "People don't float, life jackets do. They have to wear a life jacket so if something does happen, you stay on top of the water, you don't go underneath it."

Aldana has a wife and two sons.



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