California

Man dies after being swept onto rocks rescuing dogs off San Diego beach

Dogs and their owners play under sunny skies at Ocean Beach Dog Beach Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in San Diego. Southern California’s weather returned to warm and dry conditions Wednesday, a week after one of the few significant storms of the winter. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Dogs and their owners play under sunny skies at Ocean Beach Dog Beach Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in San Diego. Southern California’s weather returned to warm and dry conditions Wednesday, a week after one of the few significant storms of the winter. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) AP

A man walking his dogs with his wife Wednesday along Ocean Beach in San Diego didn’t hesitate when the high surf swept his dogs away, KNSD reported.

Gregg Owens went in after his dogs and pulled them to safety before the powerful current dragged him back out to sea, KGTV reported. The dogs are believed to be all right.

The heavy surf slammed Owens onto a rock jetty, where rescuers on personal watercraft “found him floating face down...about 20 minutes later,” KSWB reported. Owens, who had been visiting from Nevada, later died at a hospital. His age was not released.

“It’s incredible the power of, basically, the outgoing tide,” said surfer Nick Wilkinson, who was on Ocean Beach at the time of the 2 p.m. incident, KGTV reported. “You could almost stand in it, ankle deep, and get sucked out.”

A National Weather Service high surf advisory was in effect for waves up to 14 feet high in San Diego County beach at the time, KNSD reported.

The high surf advisory will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday, the weather service said.

Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water and can be deadly if you don't know what to do. This video from NOAA Ocean Today shows you how to survive if you are caught in one off the coast.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune

  Comments