Teen drowns off Sunset Beach

A teen from Lakewood drowned Monday off Sunset Beach, authorities said.

Damian Frierson Jr., 19, was pulled from the water by Huntington Beach city lifeguards and transported to Huntington Beach Hospital, where he died at around 7:21 p.m., according to the Orange County coroner.

Family members told authorities that Frierson was not a swimmer and might have gotten caught in the strong rip currents, Marine Safety Lt. Michael Beuerlein said.

It took about 25 lifeguards — 15 from the city and additional units from Bolsa Chica State Beach and Seal Beach — about 47 minutes to locate Frierson, who was found submerged in about 10 to 15 feet of water, Beuerlein said.

A helicopter and various watercraft aided the search, he added.

At about 5:43 p.m., a lifeguard on duty told Frierson and two women with him to get out of the water because of the currents, Beuerlein said. After warning the group, the lifeguard continued a patrol and returned about 10 minutes later.

Beuerlein said the guard saw one of the women on shore yelling that her friends needed help. The other woman was still in the rip current, he said.

CPR was initiated after Frierson was brought back to shore.

It was the first drowning in Huntington Beach and Sunset Beach this year, Beuerlein said.

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