Search Called Off For Missing OC Swimmers

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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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.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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