Reports of witnesses seeing the man's head bobbing in the water prompted San Jose firefighters to stretch a rope across the creek at Williams Avenue, about three miles downstream from Campbell. It would have been a last opportunity for the man to grab a lifeline before he would have struck a structure designed to break up debris. From there, the storm water goes into an underground pipe towards San Francisco Bay.
The creek has been turned into a major South Bay drainage canal and the water was moving at an estimated 10-15 mph after heavy rains pelted the area all morning. Concrete sides would have made it impossible for the man to climb out of the water.