LAGUNA BEACH (AP) — A Southern California ocean rescue took a dramatic turn over the weekend when three lifeguards who were attempting to save three people also had to be plucked from high surf by boat.
The ordeal began Saturday in Laguna Beach during a powerful storm when a woman was sucked into the ocean by a wave and pulled 400 yards out to sea by a rip current, The Orange County Register reported Monday.
Two swimmers already in the water, including one with a surf board, tried to save her but began to struggle against the pounding surf.
A lifeguard swam out to help but couldn’t swim back to shore amid 15-foot waves. Two more lifeguards entered the water, but rough waves kept all six from returning to shore.
One of the swimmers then tried to swim toward shore alone, but instead was blown farther from the rest of the group. One of the three lifeguards had to swim to him and bring him back to the others, who were getting pounded by waves, the newspaper reported.
A Harbor Patrol boat came to the scene but had trouble approaching in the surf.
“They were out there taking waves on the head for a good 45 minutes before the boat arrived,” Orange County Lifeguards Capt. Brad Herzog said.
They were taken to a local hospital for evaluation, but no one was injured.