US parents swept to sea in effort to save son, dog

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02:39 AM November 27th, 2012

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November 27th, 2012 02:39 AM

EUREKA, California—A family that tried to rescue their dog from powerful surf in California were swept out to sea, leaving the parents dead and their 16-year-old son missing, authorities said.

Waves reaching 10 feet (3 meters) high pulled the dog into the Pacific as it ran to retrieve a stick, said Dana Jones, a state Parks and Recreation district superintendent.

Jones said the boy went after the dog, prompting his father to go after them. She said the teenager was able to get out, but when he didn’t see his father, he and his mother went into the water looking for him.

“Both were dragged into the ocean,” Jones said of Saturday’s tragedy.

Rescuers eventually retrieved the mother’s body, and the father’s body washed up.

The dog got out of the water on its own, Jones said.

The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter and two motor life boats to search for the teenager, but the aerial search was ended because of thick fog.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Bernie Garrigan said Monday a person without a wetsuit could not survive for long because of the frigid waters.

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