California: Couple dead, son missing after family swept to sea trying to save dog


California: A couple died and their 16-year-old son went missing after being swept into  sea in Northern California while trying to save their dog, authorities said  Sunday.

The family was at Big Lagoon, a beach north of Eureka, Saturday afternoon  when the dog chased after a thrown stick and got pulled into the ocean by eight  to ten foot waves, said Dana Jones, a state Parks and Recreation district  superintendent.

Jones said the boy went after the dog, prompting his father to go after them.  She said the teenager was able to get out, but when he didn’t see his father, he  and his mother went into the water looking for him.

“Both were dragged into the ocean,” Jones said.

Media reports say the couple’s daughter called police.

Jones said a park ranger had to run a half mile to get to the beach because  his car wasn’t made to handle the terrain. When he arrived, he wasn’t able to  get to them because of the high surf, she said.

Rescuers eventually retrieved the mother’s body and the father’s body washed  up.

The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter and two motor life boats to search for  the teenager, but the aerial search was suspended Saturday evening by thick  coastal fog.

A call seeking the status of the Coast Guard’s search on Sunday wasn’t  immediately returned.

The dog got out of the water on its own, Jones said.