Mad River Union
SAMOA – A 21-year-old Tulare man died Thursday, March 10 after drowning in the ocean at Samoa Beach.
The Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at about 4:30 p.m. reporting that a man had gone swimming and disappeared in the surf.
The man, later identified as Matthew Bryant Garcia, had gone swimming with a friend in the ocean, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The friend was able to return to shore safely, but Garcia did not. A witness with a cellphone who was walking in the area saw what was happening and called 911.
Deputies were immediately dispatched to the area and arrived within two minutes.
The Samoa Volunteer Fire Department responded, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a helicopter and a boat.
The helicopter crew located Garcia approximately 30 yards off shore at approximately 4:50 p.m., but was unable to attempt a rescue.
Three Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies and a Samoa VFD firefighter were directed to the Garcia’s location by the helicopter. They waded several feet deep into the surf and pulled Garcia to shore.
After they pulled Garcia to shore, City Ambulance and Samoa Volunteer Fire Department started CPR.
Garcia was loaded into the back of a Sheriff’s Office Jeep and driven to the roadway. He was then loaded into the ambulance and transported to the hospital. Garcia had a pulse at the time he was transported to the hospital. Deputies learned from the friend who was swimming with the man that he was visiting the area from Tulare. Garcia succumbed to his injuries despite efforts to save him.