General Crime

Newport Beach Lifeguard Ben Carlson Dies While Rescuing A Swimmer

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A Newport Beach lifeguard of 15 years died while rescuing a swimmer on Sunday.

Ben Carlson, 32, jumped into the water around 5 p.m. after a rescue boat spotted a distressed swimmer off the coast of 16th St. Once Carlson reached the man to make the rescue, both were hit by a large wave and Carlson vanished.

Other lifeguards who rushed to help were unable to find Carlson due to huge waves with swells as high as 12 feet. Chief Scott Post of the Newport Beach Fire Department said a crew of 25 rescuers searched for Carlson, with members of multiple lifeguard and fire agencies, plus a helicopter. He was found three hours later at about 8 p.m., and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The man Carlson was rescuing made it to the shore and survived.

Sunday was a treacherous day for swimmers all around; beach officials say they made over 200 rescues on Sunday alone.

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