Lifeguard, 32, drowns trying to save swimmer off California coast

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A lifeguard with at least 15 years of experience drowned while trying to save a swimmer in waters off the coast of Southern California.

Ben Carlson, 32, was pulled from waters by fellow lifeguards, following a three-hour search, Newport Beach Fire Department Chief Scott Poster told The Associated Press. Chief Poster said Mr. Carlson jumped in the water on Sunday to help a swimmer but was pulled under by a massive wave. The swimmer was then able to make it back to shore safely, while Mr. Carlson disappeared under a 12-foot wave, AP reported.

“It was just an utter tragedy to lose a man of that caliber in the water today,” Chief Poster told AP. “Ben was a well-respected individual, always a nice guy, always was there to help somebody. He’d give his shirt off his back at anytime.”

The National Weather Service had warned over the weekend of dangerous rip currents along the Southern California beaches.

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