Lifeguard drowns during rescue off S. California - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Lifeguard drowns during rescue off S. California

Posted: Updated:
This undated photo provided by the Newport Beach Police Department shows Ben Carlson, 32, a Newport Beach lifeguard who drowned while trying to rescue a swimmer off the Southern California beach on Sunday, July 6, 2014. This undated photo provided by the Newport Beach Police Department shows Ben Carlson, 32, a Newport Beach lifeguard who drowned while trying to rescue a swimmer off the Southern California beach on Sunday, July 6, 2014.

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. Sunday 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 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.

"Ben was a well-respected individual, always a nice guy, always was there to help somebody," Poster said. "He'd give his shirt off his back at anytime."

The National Weather Service had issued a warning Sunday of dangerous rip currents and high surf along Southern California beaches. The weather service said some beaches saw up to 8-feet high surf.

Los Angeles County firefighters rescued a 25-year-old man who was caught in the waves off Rancho Palos Verdes and high tide breached a sand berm in Long Beach.

The lifeguard's death came a day after a 50-year-old long-distance swimmer and former lifeguard was bitten by a shark off Manhattan Beach.

Authorities and witnesses said the 7-foot-long juvenile had been trying to free itself from a fisherman's hook when it lunged at Steven Robles' chest.

The beaches remained open, but police prohibited fishing from the Manhattan Beach pier where the fisherman hooked the shark until Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Three-alarm fire at Brown Field

    Three-alarm fire at Brown Field

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:09:14 GMT
    An explosive three-alarm fire engulfed three hangars at Brown Field Tuesday, causing an estimated $700,000 worth of damage and forcing a several-hour closure of the municipal airport's runways. 
    An explosive three-alarm fire engulfed three hangars at Brown Field Tuesday, causing an estimated $700,000 worth of damage and forcing a several-hour closure of the municipal airport's runways. 
  • Lane-splitting is legal, but should it be?

    Lane-splitting is legal, but should it be?

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:08:47 GMT
    If you've ever been stuck sitting in traffic, you've probably seen motorcyclists cutting through lanes and whizzing by. It's a move called lane-splitting, and while it's potentially dangerous, it's perfectly legal. 
    If you've ever been stuck sitting in traffic, you've probably seen motorcyclists cutting through lanes and whizzing by. It's a move called lane-splitting, and while it's potentially dangerous, it's perfectly legal. 
  • Family of victim prepares to face drunk driver

    Family of victim prepares to face drunk driver

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 03:07:17 GMT
    A North County family is mourning the loss of a young father as they prepare to face the driver accused of killing him in court. 
    A North County family is mourning the loss of a young father as they prepare to face the driver accused of killing him in court. 
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.