HUNTINGTON BEACH ( — A Lakewood man drowned Tuesday afternoon while paddleboarding in Huntington Harbor, authorities said.

Jose Mendoza, 26, was paddling with his brother around 3:30 p.m. when he fell off his board , according to Capt. Steven Teasdale of the Huntington Beach Fire Department.

When he did not resurface, his brother yelled for help.

“My daughter’s boyfriend says: ‘I think he’s drowning.’ So he jumps right in. A couple of paddleboarders roll right up, and they’re jumping in. But he had gone too deep. Again, it’s high tide, and the water is kind of deep.”

After a 25-minute search in the muddy waters and murky conditions, lifeguards found the victim and pulled him up, Teasdale said in a news release.

He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about an hour and a half later.

Neighbors said the victim and his brother were not wearing life jackets.


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