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Man missing, feared dead after being swept into sea by surf during baptism

A man was missing and feared dead after surf swept him off the beach during a baptism ceremony on the California coast.
By Frances Burns   |   March 31, 2014 at 9:20 AM

A man was missing and feared dead after surf swept him off the beach during a baptism ceremony on the California coast.

The 43-year-old man and two others were swept into the surf at about 10 a.m. Sunday morning at Rancho Guadalupe Dunes Preserve in Santa Barbara County. The others managed to get back to shore.

About 25 people were at the baptism, Pastor Mauro Cervantes of Jesus Christ Light of the Sky Church in Santa Maria said. Cervantes said the church holds ocean baptisms two or three times a year.

Teams from Santa Barbara County, several fire departments and the Coast Guard used boats and helicopters to search for the missing man Sunday without success. Diondray Wiley, a county fire battalion chief, said the search focused on waters to the south because of the direction of coastal currents.

[Santa Maria Times]

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