Today was a very difficult one for a family from the Seattle area visiting Long Beach for the holiday. An 11-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister became lost in the surf around 2 pm Friday. After 30 minutes in the water, the boy was rescued by South Pacific County Technical Rescue swimmers Julez Orr and Eddie Mendez, who then carried him safely to shore where an ambulance was waiting (ABOVE).
The boys mother (ABOVE) ran to the truck and was with him as he was transported to the hospital and is reportedly faring well. However, the search for the little girl continued for another three hours before being suspended by the Coast Guard.
Once again local rescue workers did an outstanding job — many of whom are volunteers — in the search. What was also heartening to see was so many people who just happened to be at the beach helping with the search (ABOVE and BELOW).
The saddest part of all of this is that it could have and should have been avoided. Anyone who comes to the beach here should heed the warnings at al the beach approaches warning people to not go swimming as the rip tides and currents are deadly.
Do not let you children get in the water past their knees, have an adult with them the entire time they are in the water, and have them wear life jackets.
I have seen far too many people die on our beach approaches not to be absolutely resolute in telling you this. Please be safe out there.