HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (CBS/AP) — Authorities say two young men who disappeared Saturday while swimming in Orange County are presumed drowned after a search was called off at sundown.
Efforts resumed Sunday to recover the bodies of 24-year-old John Shua Lee and 20-year-old Shao Moua, both of Banning.
They were in of a party of four who were struggling in high surf off the Huntington Beach Pier. One man swam to shore and lifeguards rescued a second one.
“The waves were pretty strong, they had a strong current. I guess that’s what pulled us into the ocean,” said rescued swimmer Sai Yang. “We’re not very experienced swimmers at all.”
Lee and Moua were apparently caught in a riptide and disappeared. Lifeguards, rescue boats and a helicopter searched for hours without success.
“You’ve got riptides, you’ve got large surf, you’ve got the ocean floor, which is very uneven. So, unless you’re a very good swimmer, we recommend that people, who don’t swim well, stay out of the ocean water,” Martha Werth of the Huntington Beach Fire Department said.
The men were with a group from the Laotian Evangelical Church attending a wedding. Families of the missing men held a vigil on the beach into the evening.
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