Update: The male jumper has been identified by the San Diego County Medical Examiners office as 27-year-old Mariano Aguilar Soto of Oceanside.
Oceanside CA— Early this morning, just after 3:00am, Oceanside Police received a call of a male subject who had jumped off the pier and become distressed. A witness last observed the subject holding onto a pier pylon yelling for help.
A woman called 9-1-1 just after 3:00 am this morning to report that her boyfriend had jumped off the pier and was now struggling in the water. Units from the Oceanside Fire and Police Department immediately responded and arrived just a few minutes after the initial call. While enroute, a second 9-1-1 caller reported that another individual had gone into the ocean to try and assist the struggling jumper.
The jumper, a 27-year-old male from Oceanside, was joking with his girlfriend and told her he was going to jump into the ocean and swim to shore. He apparently was an ex-marine and reportedly a good swimmer. He removed his pants and jumped over the railing on the south side of the pier. Immediately after hitting the water he was pulled northward under the pier where he tried to hold onto the pilings before the current carried him out from under the pier and into the open water. 18-year-old Michael Cervantes of Menifee was also on the pier when he heard the victim yelling for help and ran over to the railing to see what was happening. He decided to try and assist the swimmer and ran back down the pier to the beach and entered the water. Mr. Cervantes swam out to where he last had seen the victim, but was unable to locate him. He then safely returned to shore and provided information to rescuers.
Fire and Police personnel began an immediate search of the water and beach around the pier area in an attempt to locate the victim. Four lifeguards also responded from home and quickly joined the search on paddleboards. When no victim was immediately located, a helicopter from the US Coast Guard was requested and arrived on scene just after 5 am. The helicopter crew began a grid search of the area from the air using a searchlight and infrared scanning equipment. Unfortunately, at 6:22 am searchers on the Police rescue boat located the deceased the victim approximately ¼ mile north of the pier and 800’ off the beach.
Oceanside Police personnel pulled the body from the water and transported it back to the harbor to wait for representatives from the Medical Examiner’s office. Representatives from the Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) responded to the Lifeguard headquarters to assist the victim’s friends. Information on the deceased victim will be provided by the Medical Examiner’s office or Oceanside Police once their investigation is completed.
There is a Beach Hazards Statement currently in effect until Sunday evening. A Beach Hazards Statement indicates an increased risk for swimmers, surfers. Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can wash people off beaches, rocks and capsize small boats near shore.
Obey posted warning signs and flags and talk to a lifeguard before swimming. Use caution when in or near the water and always swim near a lifeguard.