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Friends mourn family killed trying to save dog in ocean

November 26, 2012 |  4:14 pm

A Northern California community was in mourning after three members of a family -- including a teenage boy -- were swept out to sea as they attempted to rescue their dog from the powerful surf.

The Humboldt County coroner said Howard Kuljian, 50, and his wife, Mary Scott, 54, of Eureka, Calif., drowned Saturday after rushing into the water at Big Lagoon, a beach north of Eureka. 

Officials say the family dog had run into the ocean to fetch a stick when it was pulled in by waves. The couple's 16-year-old son, Gregory Kuljian, ran into the water after the dog, prompting his father to enter the water as well.

The teenager was able to return to shore, but when his father did not surface, Gregory reentered the water with his mother to search for him.

Rescuers eventually retrieved the mother's body, and the father's body washed up. Gregory's body has not been found. The dog got out of the water on its own, Jones said.

A Facebook page has been set up in memory of Gregory.

Friends described him on the page as an upbeat and caring person, according to the Associated Press.

"I will always remember him no matter how long," one wrote. "Especially how he was such an upbeat happy person or how he tried to put up 'Be Happy' propaganda posters he drew around school."


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/25/5009802/couple-swept-to-sea-while-trying.html#storylink=cpy

"I will always remember him no matter how long," wrote Emmalaya Owen on the Facebook page. "Especially how he was such an upbeat happy person or how he tried to put up 'Be Happy' propaganda posters he drew around school."

Others were trying to come to terms with the deaths. His sister, Olivia, graduated from the school last year.

"He was just a friendly guy, and everyone who knew him liked him, and his family was very close," said Day Robins, a high school senior. She said Gregory and his family were active in school athletics and sailing.



Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/article/Northern-CA-community-mourns-family-swept-to-sea-4066452.php#ixzz2DNPgvbTHThe couple's daughter called police, said Dana Jones, a state Parks and Recreation district superintendent, according to the Times-Standard.
"I will always remember him no matter how long," wrote Emmalaya Owen on the Facebook page. "Especially how he was such an upbeat happy person or how he tried to put up 'Be Happy' propaganda posters he drew around school."

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/article/Northern-CA-community-mourns-family-swept-to-sea-4066452.php#ixzz2DNPgvbTHJones said a park ranger had to run half a mile to get to the beach because his vehicle could not handle the terrain. When he arrived, he wasn't able to get to the family because of the high surf, she said.
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