Umut Felik, the manager of the Palo Alto and Mission District locations of Turkish mini-chain Tuba, died in an apparent swimming accident in the San Joaquin River Delta last week.
Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Jimmy Lee says that the agency received a call last Thursday morning saying that a boater had disappeared while swimming in the San Joaquin River north of Webb Tract. According to others on the boat, the man — later identified as Felik — went for a swim off the side of the boat, then appeared to have trouble staying above water, eventually failing to resurface. Efforts by his friends to find him were unsuccessful.
KPIX reports that units from Solano County, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the spot where Felik was last spotted, and a sonar search was conducted until 8 p.m. The search resumed on Friday, the San Jose Mercury News reports, but it wasn’t until Sunday that Felik was found, Lee says, when his remains were discovered near Isleton’s Pirates Lair Marina.
Tuba owner Ben Kara, who headed to the area when Felik’s disappearance was reported, told the Palo Alto Daily Post that the 27-year-old San Francisco resident was from Turkey, and that his family there had been contacting him “every hour” for news on the search.
According to Kara, Felik “was a nice guy” and a “smart and a responsible person.” A memorial for Felik will be held for his friends and co-workers at a future date.