A Los Angeles County Fire Department lifeguard died during a swimming exercise Thursday morning, the first on-duty department death in recent memory.
Brian K. Kutil, 42, began struggling during the lifeguards' annual 500-meter swim recertification exercise at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach and was pulled from the water about 7 a.m., said Lifeguard Section Chief Chris Linkletter.
About 25 lifeguards were swimming with Kutil and they unsuccessfully tried to revive him outside of the pool, Linkletter said. Kutil was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
"He was a 20-year veteran, an oustanding lifeguard," Linkletter said. "He's going to be sorely missed."
Kutil's family has been notified. A cause of death has not been determined.
This was the first on-duty lifeguard death that Linkletter could remember and possibly the first in the department's history, she said.