AVALON (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives Wednesday were investigating two deaths in the Avalon Harbor.
Around 10:55 p.m. on Tuesday, several boats broke free from their moorings during a storm, detectives explained.
Officials responded to the Green Pleasure Pier around 3:30 a.m. to reports of injuries after high winds caused boats to be knocked over.
A harbor patrolman was killed after being pinned between a boat and a rock, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.
Deputies reported they attempted to rescue him from the water, but were unsuccessful. His body was recovered around 11:00 a.m. by divers.
Around 6:30 a.m., another man’s body was found floating in the water nearby. It was unclear if the two deaths were related to the same incident.
According to the Avalon Sheriff’s Department, around 11:30 a.m., deputies said they were possibly searching for a reported third victim in the water. By Wednesday afternoon, officials said there was no one unaccounted for.
Homicide detectives were sent to the scene to investigate.
“Whenever the death or disappearance of a person occurs as a result of a boating accident and/or incident on the waters within Los Angeles County, LASD Homicide Bureau responds and investigates,” Deputy Guillermina Saldaña said.
Witnesses to the wild wind storm described it to CBS2’s Randy Paige.
He said one person told him the wind was “like a witch’s cauldron.”
Another resident, who lived in the area for 45 years told Paige he’d never seen anything like the winds last evening.
On Wednesday evening, the LA County Coroner officially identified the two victims.
The victims are Bruce Ryder, 53, of Avalon and Timothy Mitchell, a Harbor Patrol officer from Avalon, who was set to turn 40 in January 2015.
As many as 10 boats were destroyed.