The family was at Big Lagoon just north of Eureka, California with their dog on Saturday afternoon. The dog went chasing after a stick and was pulled into the ocean by eight to ten foot waves. Dana Jones, a state Parks and Recreation district superintendent, reports that the 16-year-old boy went in after the dog and the father went in after his son. The son was able to make it out of the water, but when he didn’t see his father he and his mother went in after the father. They were all dragged into the ocean.
That’s when the couple’s daughter reportedly called the police for help. A park ranger had to run a half mile to get to their location because his car couldn’t handle the terrain. When he arrived he was unable to get to the family because of the high surf. The dog was able to make it out of the water safely on his own.
Rescuers eventually recovered the mother’s and father’s bodies after they washed up. The son is still missing, and a call seeking the status of the Coast Guard’s search on Sunday wasn’t immediately returned.