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50-year-old man dies in water at Oceano Dunes state park

The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.
The Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Update 6 p.m. Sunday

The identity of a 50-year-old man that was pronounced dead after he was found in the water near the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area Friday has not been released yet as the report is still forthcoming, according to Oceano Dunes park superintendent Brent Marshall.

Authorities are working to finalize the information on the report, Marshall said. He added that it’s taking longer than usual because of a language barrier and the necessity of a translator.

The autopsy will likely be performed Wednesday, according to Sgt. Jeff Nichols of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Update 10:30 p.m. Friday

A 50-year-old man found floating face down in the water near the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area on Friday afternoon was pronounced dead, according to a state parks official.

Oceano Dunes park superintendent Brent Marshall said the man was in the water for approximately 30 to 45 minutes before park lifeguards found his body about 200 yards from shore.

First responders immediately began CPR, Marshall said. The man was taken via helicopter to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was pronounced dead, Marshall said.

The man’s name has not been released.

The man and a woman reportedly were walking south of the Oceano Dunes park near the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge when the man decided to go for a swim, Marshall said.

After some time, the woman looked toward the water and “saw that something was wrong,” Marshall said.

Marshall said the woman called 911, prompting the Guadalupe Fire Department, Cal Fire and state parks personnel to coordinate an effort to locate the man.

“It was really a heroic effort,” Marshall said, “but, unfortunately, it didn’t have the desired outcome.”

Authorities are expected to perform an autopsy, which likely will be handled by the San Luis Obispo County coroner, Marshall said.

Original story:

Emergency crews responded to a possible drowning in the water near Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area late Friday afternoon, according to Cal Fire and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

About 5 p.m., paramedics were performing CPR on a person who was pulled from the water in an area near Oso Flaco Lake Road, according to Cal Fire. Reports indicated the person was in the water for approximately 40 minutes and had a body temperature of about 70 degrees.

A helicopter waiting on scene transported the person at 5:24 p.m. to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, Cal Fire said.

A sheriff’s dive team was dispatched to the scene, but that call was later canceled, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla.

Information will be added to this story as it becomes available.

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