OCEANSIDE — Multiple agencies responded to an incident that ended in a drowning Oct. 6 near Oceanside Pier.
A young couple was walking on the pier in the early morning hours when the 27-year- old man reportedly told his girlfriend he planned to jump into the ocean and swim to shore. Once in the water the man was swept north.
“Immediately after hitting the water he was pulled northward under the pier where he tried to hold onto the pilings before the current carried him out from under the pier and into the open water,” Fire Battalion Chief Peter Lawrence said in a press release.
Lawrence said 18-year- old Michael Cervantes of Menifee was also on the pier and heard the cry for help. Cervantes headed to the beach, swam out to the last known location of the man, but was unable to find him.
The victim’s girlfriend made an emergency 911 call at 3 a.m. when she saw her boyfriend was in distress. She said he was a former Marine and a good swimmer.
Harbor police and firefighters arrived as Cervantes was exiting the ocean after an unsuccessful search for the man. First responders began an immediate coordinated search of the water and beach around the pier.
Harbor police searched by boat and four lifeguards went out on paddleboards to patrol the water.
A Coast Guard helicopter joined the search two hours later. The helicopter crew conducted a grid search of the area using an onboard searchlight and infrared scan.
Police reported that shortly after 6 a.m. officers on the police rescue boat located the man’s body floating in the water a quarter mile northwest of the pier.
The man was declared dead and transported to the harbor police patrol dock. His body was then taken by county Medical Examiner staff for further examination. His name has not yet been released.
Trauma Intervention Program responders were on the scene to aid friends of the victim.