Newport Beach, CA, United States (4E) – A lifeguard in Newport Beach, California and two Idaho men drowned while rescuing drowning victims over the weekend.
The lifeguard, Ben Carlson, 32, became the first Newport Beach lifeguard to die in the line of duty after a large wave struck him and the swimmer he was rescuing around 5 p.m. on Sunday, according to Chief Scott Poster of the Newport Beach Fire Department.
A rescue boat alerted Carlson of a swimmer in distress near 16th Street and he went to the rescue. He was able to reach the swimmer when large waves suddenly struck them. Other lifeguards at the scene tried to help the two but turbulent waters prevented them from reaching Carlson while the swimmer he was rescuing made it back to shore.
Twenty-five rescuers searched the water and found Carlson’s body around 8 p.m. They rushed him to paramedics waiting on the Newport Pier. Carlson was taken to the Hoag Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Meanwhile, the drowning fatalities in Idaho were a father and an uncle of an 8-year-old boy, who fell from a boat while fishing in the Snake River, Elmore County with his family.
Jose Jorge Barroso-Alfaro, 37, and Martin Barroso-Alfaro, 35, jumped into the water near the Loveridge Bridge on Highway 51 to rescue the boy but they were apparently pulled under the water.
Bystander Michael Feldmeier, 23, of Mountain Home, also jumped into the water and was able to pull the boy to safety.
Divers from Ada County found and recovered the bodies of the two men, who were already dead.