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Harbor Patrol officer dies after trying to jump ashore amid storm

Storm death in Catalina: As deputies search for one body, they come across another

A Harbor Patrol officer died Tuesday night in a boating accident amid rough waves driven by strong storm winds.

The officer was aboard a boat that was about to run aground at Avalon Harbor, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.

He tried to jump ashore, but he missed. 

Two other officers on the boat tried to rescue him, but he became pinned between the boat and the harbor rocks and was fatally injured. 

“The conditions were so horrible, they were unable to go in after him,” Nishida said.

On Wednesday morning, as deputies searched for the body of the Harbor Patrol officer, they came across the body of another man.

The circumstances of the second death were not yet known, and neither men's identities was released.

Capt. John Kades of the Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed that body had been retrieved from the water.

Nishida said Avalon Harbor looked like it had been struck by a hurricane.

It "took a beating," Kades said. "Boats were knocked loose.” 

The storm Tuesday brought freezing temperatures and snow that stranded hundreds of motorists on mountain roads across Southern California. The snow level dropped to below 2,000 feet, dusting hillsides and High Desert communities.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

2:21 p.m.: Details of boating accident added.

8:46 a.m.: Updated to add information about a second death

This post was originally published at 7:55 a.m. 

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