Lifeguard drowns during rescue
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A lifeguard drowned while trying to rescue a swimmer off a Southern California beach, authorities said.
Ben Carlson, 32, was pulled from the water around 8 p.m. local time by fellow lifeguards following a frantic, three-hour search, Newport Beach Fire Department Chief Scott Poster said.
Poster said the 15-year department veteran went into the water Sunday to help a struggling swimmer when they were hit by a large wave.
Carlson went under water, and the swimmer made it to shore safely. Poster said searchers were hampered by up to 12-foot swells.
“It was just an utter tragedy to lose a man of that caliber in the water today,” the chief said, noting that it was the first time a city lifeguard died in the line of duty.