Swimmer Drowns at Malibu Beach; 270 Others Rescued Off LA County

Lifeguards lost sight of the man after he was caught in a rip current and pulled under the water

A 28-year-old swimmer drowned at a beach in Malibu on a day in which 270 rescues were made by lifeguards in Los Angeles County, officials said Sunday.

Lifeguards at Zuma Beach Tower 9 said the man went missing after they saw him get caught in a rip current and go under the water about 50 feet offshore around 3:45 p.m., Los Angeles County Lifeguards Capt. Ken Haskett said. The victim was identifed as 28-year-old Jose Garcia, of Sun Valley.

"From the lifeguards that were swimming out to rescue him, he was actively already flailing after he stopped touching the bottom," Haskett said. "It looked like he did not know how to swim and pretty much immediately went under the water."

Lifeguards pulled the man from the water just after 5 p.m., but were unable to revive him with CPR.

Swimming conditions at Zuma Beach were so rough Sunday that lifeguards had already made 70 rescues, Haskett said.

Officials expect the number of rescues at LA County beaches this year to exceed last year's count due to the large waves and warmer water caused by El Niño.

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