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Teenager Is Feared Drowned

The search continues for Fullerton boy who disappeared off Huntington Beach.

June 28, 2003|H.G. Reza | Times Staff Writer

Lifeguards continued searching Friday for the body of a Fullerton teenager believed to have drowned at Huntington State Beach after he stepped into a trench while swimming with a friend.

The search for Oswaldo Jesus Ramos, 14, will continue until his body is recovered, lifeguard supervisor Michael Brousard said. Oswaldo and an unidentified 15-year-old friend were swimming about 50 yards from shore Thursday when they began struggling in the water, Brousard said.

The teens were probably swept into a natural, underwater trench by a strong swell, he said. The friend managed to swim to a sandbar, but Oswaldo disappeared. The older boy and his family, who had brought Oswaldo along on an outing to the beach, contacted lifeguards at 1:40 p.m. Thursday.

"His friend didn't really see Ramos slip beneath the waves, because he was struggling himself," Brousard said. "But all of a sudden he was gone. We're assuming the worst, because we searched aggressively for three hours Thursday, and he didn't arrive home last night."

He said water conditions were "treacherous and pretty ugly."

"We had big surf and strong currents, but not enough to intimidate people. So, you get swimmers who aren't that strong getting in the water without realizing how dangerous it can really be," Brousard said.

The state lifeguards were aided by fire departments from Huntington Beach and Newport Beach in the search Thursday, along with the U.S. Coast Guard and Harbor Police. Lifeguards continued searching Friday.

"We'll continue until we find the young man. His mother has been here, waiting," Brousard said.

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