Man drowns after being swept out to sea while performing baptism on Californian beach
Benito Flores had been helping to perform the ceremony when he and two other men were washed away by the surf
Wednesday 02 April 2014
Rescue crews in California have called off their search for a 43-year-old man who was swept out to sea during an ocean baptism.
Benito Flores, 43, had been helping to perform the ceremony in association with the Jesus Christ Light of the Sky church when he and two other men were washed away by the surf.
Two of the men were able to swim back to shore without injuries but Mr Flores was lost at sea.
He was among several people helping his cousin, Pastor Maurigro Cervantes, baptise a man near the Guadalupe Dunes Preserve north of Santa Barbara.
Some 25 people, mostly Spanish-speaking, attended the event, the Santa Maria Times reported.
Pastor Maurigro Cervantes of the Jesus Christ Light of the Sky church, told KEYT-TV news that he was in the water with two others on Sunday baptising a man in his mid 20s, while his cousin, Benito Flores, was assisting.
"A big wave came and took Benito," Cervantes said. "I tried to take him out. He was heavy. And then another big wave came."
The entire group of worshippers were reportedly dragged into the ocean during the early morning service.
An extensive search by emergency teams failed to find the missing man by nightfall, the Santa Maria Times reported.
The ceremony took place near the Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve which boasts sand dunes that tower 550 feet high - among the tallest on the West Coast.
The Preserve is also the location used in the 1923 film, The Ten Commandments, by Cecil B. DeMille.
Park authorities warn on their website that the surf at the spot can be "very dangerous."
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...