SAN DIEGO — Fifteen-year-old Anthony Womack died on Wednesday after he jumped into the water at Sunset Cliffs, but his tragic death is not the first time someone has lost their life at that location.
Brook Hjelm lost her son, Brian Wilson, four years ago when he was swimming off the coast of Sunset Cliffs.
"Nobody expects to die at 23 or 15. It breaks my heart every time I hear of another family going through this. The pain is constant. It never gets better. It never goes away, for a second,” said Hjelm.
Wilson’s rescue, like that of Womack’s, was impaired due to low water visibility, fast-moving water, and dangerous conditions.
"They found him the following day. We're just grateful that they found him,” said Hjelm.
Since the death of her son, Hjelm has called on an increase of lifeguard staffing near Pappy’s Point.
“I would like to see a greater force out there. At the time we lost Brian, there were no lifeguards at the beach. That may have maybe a difference in whether my son came home that day. I don't know,” said Hjelm.
Wilson left behind a baby girl named Braelyn, who is now four-years-old.
Hjelm moved to Kentucky to get away from the painful reminders of her son’s death.
“I have a love-hate relationship with the beach now. I think it's beautiful, but it haunts me,” said Hjelm.
Hjelm said she would like to see pictures of those who have died at Sunset Cliff be added to the danger signs that are posted along the area.
"Put signs up of our young men and women that we lost. Let them see the face of something that associates them with what truly is at stake,” said Hjelm.
A vigil for Anthony Womack is being held Friday night.