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Man Drowns in Ocean While Saving 2 Boys

November 15, 1998|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — A man was killed Saturday when he was caught in a rip current at Mission Beach and swept underwater while saving two boys, a lifeguard said.

The man was swimming with the boys, ages 10 and 13, about 3:50 p.m. when a rip current pulled them into the ocean, said lifeguard Lt. Brant Bass.

"Our lifeguards saw three people standing in waist-deep water," Bass said. "In a matter of seconds, they got caught in a rip current and lost their footing."

The man regained his footing and held the two boys so they wouldn't go under as lifeguards made their way toward them, he said. "Meanwhile, he drowned himself and was swept out to sea," Bass said.

As many as 20 lifeguards and a sheriff's helicopter searched about 40 minutes until the helicopter spotted a body about a quarter-mile to the north of the incident.

The man's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

Moderate surf wasn't strong enough to require a posted warning, but rip currents can suddenly develop, he said.

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