Family Swept To Sea

, Posted: Mon, November 26 2012 at 11:08 PM, Updated: Mon, November 26 2012 at 11:54 PM

Three members of a California family apparently drowned after they were swept out to sea trying to save their dog from the heavy surf.

Authorities say the mom, dad and son were walking along the beach at big lagoon Saturday when the dog got pulled into a strong wave while trying to retrieve a stick.

The 16-year-old son went after the dog, prompting his father to go in as well. They battled eight to ten foot waves. The teenager was able to get back to shore, but went back in the water with his mother to search for the father. They all got dragged into the ocean. The 16-year-old boy has not been found and is presumed dead.

Emergency officials said "We responded along with Cal Fire, Arcata Fire Department, State and National Parks...They arrived on scene and had trouble accessing the area because the sand is real soft up here. They got up to the area of the incident and recovered 1 person fairly fast...a second person was washed ashore and recovered...a third person is still missing."

The couple's 18-year-old daughter and the boy's girlfriend saw the tragedy from the beach. The dog eventually made it back to shore.

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