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Search continues for 2 men presumed drowned off Huntington Beach

August 29, 2010 | 12:57 pm

Search crews in boats and helicopters on Sunday planned to resume looking for the bodies of two men who were presumed drowned after they were swept away by strong waves in Huntington Beach on Saturday.

The two men were part of a group from the Lao Evangelical Church that had just attended a wedding. Friends and family at the beach Saturday identified them as John Shua Lee, 24, and Shao Moua, 20, both of Banning. Huntington Beach officials on Sunday would not confirm those names because the search is ongoing and neither man has been found.

The two were part of a group of four men who were in the water at around 4:30 p.m. when waves were five to six feet high, said Lt. Michael Beuerlein of the Huntington Beach Marine Safety Division.

Beuerlein said all four men were swept off their feet by the current. One of them was able to stay afloat and was rescued, and another made his way back to shore, Beuerlein said. But the other two men could not be found.

“We have had small surf this summer but the swell has picked up recently,” Beuerlein said. “Right now it is above average for this time of year. The bigger the surf, the stronger the rip current, and right now we advise that if you are not a good swimmer, you should stay out.”

-- Kurt Streeter