18-year-old presumed drowned after helping rescue friends from rip current

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Ocean Shores file

OCEAN SHORES — An 18-year-old California man is presumed to have drowned in the ocean Saturday near Ocean Shores.

According to Ocean Shores police, the man was playing in the surf with seven others from a youth group. The other swimmers said they were caught in a rip current and pulled out into deep water.

Police said five of them made it back to shore with little trouble.

The other two struggled but eventually made it back to shore. Paramedics treated them for exhaustion and inhaling water.

Officials said the 18-year-old helped bring two of his friends to shore before he was swept back out by a rip current. He was last seen around 8:30 p.m. about half a mile south of where he first entered the water.

The Coast Guard searched by boat and helicopter for several hours but did not find the missing man.

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