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Two drown off North Coast in heavy surf

October 23, 2006|From the Associated Press

EUREKA, Calif. — Large waves off the Humboldt County coast claimed the lives of a 4-year-old girl who was playing in the water and a 21-year-old woman who jumped in to save her Sunday.

The child was swimming at a beach near the Redwood Creek Picnic Area shortly before 11:30 a.m. when a large wave pulled her out to sea, according to the Coast Guard. The 21-year-old, a friend of the child's mother, tried to save the girl but also was swept out, officials said.

The mother called the Coast Guard, which sent out a helicopter and motorboat as part of its search efforts. Rescuers found the woman about 12:10 p.m., but she was pronounced dead a short time later, Coast Guard officials said. They located the girl shortly after 2 p.m., and she also was pronounced dead, they said.

The names of the victims were not released, pending the notification of relatives.

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