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Date Released: 1/2/2004
Subject: Drowning
Contact: Brenda Gainey, PIO
Case No#: 200400023
Released By: Brenda Gainey

Location: Freshwater Spit

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, State and National Park Rangers, California Highway Patrol Officers, and personnel from the US Coast Guard responded to the Freshwater Spit today when it was reported that two people had been swept into the ocean. At about 12:20 PM the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 emergency call from a witness on the beach. Upon their arrival, emergency personnel learned that an 8 year-old boy had been swept off the beach by a large wave. Shortly afterward, the boy’s 38 year-old uncle entered the water to rescue the child; witnesses reportedly then lost sight of them both. Shortly before 1:00 the body of the man was pulled from the water. CPR and rescue breathing were unsuccessful and the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office was called.

At the time of this writing (about 3:30 PM), the boy has not been found. Emergency personnel are still on scene and several fishing boats have joined in the search.

The names of the victims, both of whom are from Washington State, are being withheld pending the official notification of the next of kin by the Coroner’s Office. Updates will be released as the situation changes.