OCEANSIDE (CBS) — A surfer suffered a serious neck injury Saturday after diving head-first into the water at The Strand in Oceanside and, a fire official said.

Surfer Suffers Serious Neck Injury In Oceanside

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The Oceanside Fire Department received the report about a surfer, who had lost consciousness and was rescued by witnesses who saw his body floating 100 feet offshore at 12:46 p.m., Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence said.

Witness Lucas Dalager had been looking at the waves from his house porch when he saw a man, who appeared to be in his early 30s, ride a wave and then jump off his surfboard into the water head-first, Lawrence said.

When the surfer surfaced and did not get back on his board, Dalager ran down to the beach and jumped into the 3-4 foot surf to rescue the man, Lawrence said.

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Dalager pulled the surfer out of the water with the help of three other bystanders, including a retired Orange County fire captain, who saw a surfboard wash up on shore.

Lifeguards and paramedics from Oceanside and Carlsbad fire departments provided emergency care to the surfer before he was airlifted to a trauma center around 1:20 p.m.

“This incident serves as a reminder to anyone at the beach that you should never dive head-first into the water, as the shifting sand can create areas of very shallow water up to several hundred feet from shore,” Lawrence said.

Oceanside police said the man suffered serious neck injuries.

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