3 Family Members Died After Strong Tides Swept Them Into California Sea

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
June 26, 2020USshare
3 Family Members Died After Strong Tides Swept Them Into California Sea
Ventura County Fire and Sheriff Department vehicles at the scene off Pacific Coast Highway near Deer Creek in California on June 25, 2020. (Ventura County Fire Department)

Three people from the same family drowned after a strong wave swept them into the ocean off California Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Ventura County Fire Department spokesperson Brian McGrath said in a news release they received an incoming emergency call about multiple people struggling in the ocean off Pacific Coast Highway near Deer Creek at about 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Authorities reacted swiftly and conducted search and rescue operations, two victims were pulled first from the water. McGrath said it took more time to find the third victim, but authorities were eventually able to pull him out of the water as well.

All victims were in a critical condition after the rescue and ultimately died of their injuries, McGrath said.

According to a news release, “All victims have been accounted for and the search operations have been completed. … Despite life saving measures all 3 people were fatally injured.”

The identities of the three victims have not been released. Witnesses told ABC7 they were fishing on the rocks when a strong wave pulled them into the ocean.

Over a dozen police vehicles and fire trucks were present at the scene following the incident and all lanes of the highway were closed for several hours during rescue efforts and investigations.

“Unfortunately, it can be a dangerous place because it is very rocky and the beach and sand slopes straight down,” Ventura County Sheriff’s Captain Eric Buschow said. “Things can look very calm one moment, but every once in a while you can have a large wave that can crash down upon you.”

On Thanksgiving Day in November 2008, three young men were swept out into the ocean water under similar circumstances off Point Megu while taking photographs of the ocean.

“They saw that the waves were strong, and they realized that it was dangerous, so they attempted to make their way back from the water lines,” a survivor told the Los Angeles Times. “A big wave came, and he told me all of them got knocked in the water and he told me he was lifted up by a swell and grabbed on to a rock.”

These tragic incidents are reminders for how powerful the ocean is, authorities said.

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