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Search Ended for Man Swept Out to Sea During Sunday Baptism in California

( [email protected] ) Mar 31, 2014 03:29 PM EDT
The Santa Maria Times reports that a man was washed out to sea during the Sunday morning baptism service at the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes in California when a wave crashed onto the shore. Three men were swept off their feet, and only two of them were able to swim back to safety.

The Santa Maria Times reports that a man was washed out to sea during the Sunday morning baptism service at the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes in California when a wave crashed onto the shore. Three men were swept off their feet, and only two of them were able to swim back to safety.

Benito Flores was helping Pastor Maurigro Cervantes of the Jesus Christ Light of the Sky church perform a baptism on Sunday morning when a large wave crashed over the three men on shore and dragged them out to sea. The young man who was being baptized was able to make it back to shore alive, as was the church's pastor. Cervantes says he tried to save his 43-year-old cousin, but lost him when a second large wave crashed over them. AOL News reports that the church regularly does baptism services on the shoreline there, though the waves in the area can be dangerous.

Flores' family and friends are mourning his plight; "He's a very good man - he's a good worker, he's a good neighbor," Pastor Cervantes says of his cousin.

Despite their best efforts, the Coast Guard and other emergency workers failed to locate Flores on Sunday using helicopters and sea vessels. The local Fire Department says that it would be very hard for someone to survive in the cold waters for more than 30 minutes, and ABC News reports that the search was ended late Sunday night.