Authorities Thursday were trying to solve the mystery of finding the body of a man in a wet suit on the sands south of Dana Strand Beach.
Firefighters were called to the area of Dana Strand Beach in the 34000 block of Dana Strand Road, according to Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority.
A man in his late 40s who was visiting from “out of the area” was seen swimming alone wearing a wet suit and fins, while a female companion was on the sand, he said.
“We are unaware of what happened,” Concialdi said. The man disappeared and lifeguards and firefighters searched for him until he was found near some rocks in the southern part of Dana Strand Beach. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Lifeguards remained with the body that was found Wednesday afternoon while an OCFA helicopter with two Urban Search and Rescue swimmers arrived, he said. They were lowered to the rocks with a Stokes basket to retrieve the body and flew it to the Orange County coroner on shore.
There have been 39 confirmed drowning deaths this year in Orange County, Concialdi said. Two others with pending autopsy results in Newport and Huntington harbors could bring that number to 41 and nearly tie last year’s high of 43 drowning deaths.
“Any time you are in the water, never swim alone,” he said.
— Wire reports
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