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Huntington Beach Drowning Victim Identified

Celestino Gonzalez, 34, was one of two swimmers in distress under the Huntington Beach Pier. A responding police officer was able to save the other swimmer.

A 34-year-old Ontario man who drowned in the surf off Huntington Beach was identified today by the Orange County coroner's office.

A report of Celestino Gonzalez and another swimmer in distress under the
pier was called in to the Huntington Beach police at 1:29 a.m. Thursday, Huntington Beach police Lt. Chad Nichols said.

One of the responding officers, who had previous lifeguarding experience, was able to reach one of the two swimmers and bring him safely to shore, according to the HBPD.

An Anaheim police helicopter joined the rescue operation and Gonzalez was floating unconscious in the surf and was brought to shore, according to police. Paramedics tried to revive Gonzalez at the scene.

He was then rushed to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, where he died about 14 hours later, according to the coroner's office.

- City News Service

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