Two People Died in the Ocean Off Orange County Last Weekend, More Drowned Inland

It was a weekend of drownings in Orange County this past weekend as the bodies of two men were plucked out of the ocean and there were other water-related tragedies inland.


Wesley Kim – The 27-year-old Reseda resident was freediving with a partner about 400 yards from the Crystal Cove State Park shore, where there are depths of 45 feet, but he did not emerge Saturday afternoon and his partner flagged a passing boat. Lifeguards were notified just after 1:30 p.m., Kim was recovered around 3 p.m. and he was pronounced dead at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach at 3:22 p.m., according to California State Parks spokesman Kevin Pearsall.

Ryan Scheer – The 39-year-old is believed to have drowned at Huntington City Beach around 8:30 a.m. Sunday, according to the Orange County coroner's office. Cops had received a call about a body found naked in the surf near lifeguard Tower 7 with personal belongings nearby, said Huntington Beach Police Lt. Steve Bushhousen.

Clarence William Brumfield – The 61-year-old Palmdale resident fell off a pontoon boat while fishing with a friend around 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Irvine Lake in Silverado. An Orange County Sheriff's Department diving team found his body about 11:15 a.m. Sunday in about 25 feet of water, near the location he was last seen, according to authorities. Brumfield had not been wearing a life jacket, said Capt. William Lackey of the Orange County Fire Authority. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death and if Brumfield had any pre-existing medical condition, the county coroner says.

56-year-old woman – She was gardening in the backyard of her Mission Viejo home before 6:30 p.m. Friday, when her husband discovered her body at the bottom of the deep end of their pool. An Orange County sheriff's deputy responded, pulled the woman out and performed CPR, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, said Lackey, who believes the unidentified woman did not know how to swim.

Suy Nguyen – The 60-year-old Yorba Linda resident was found in a pool in town before being take to Placentia-Linda Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:49 p.m. Tuesday, according to the county coroner.

Jane Yagi – The 52-year-old Mission Viejo resident drowned in Mission Viejo and was pronounced deceased at 12:10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, the coroner said.

We also had some happier endings:

2-year-old girl – The unidentified girl was spotted floating on her back, unconscious and having difficulty breathing in a pool at the Blue Buoy Swim School in Tustin around 1:50 p.m. Saturday. She was taken to Kaiser Permanente Orange County-Anaheim Medical Center, where she was listed in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Lackey, who praised the use of a water watcher at the swim school, saying the tactic may have avoided serious injury or even saved the girl's life. Blue Buoy Swim School owner Johnny Johnson is vice chairman of the Orange County Task Force on Drowning Prevention, which was formed Aug. 3 to help reduce near-drownings and water-related deaths.

3-year-old girl – The unidentified girl was attending a backyard pool party in Yorba Linda Friday afternoon, when she got out of the water, took off her water wings, used the restroom and then went back into the pool without her water wings. About 4:30 p.m., she was spotted underwater, retrieved by an adult party guest and taken to a hospital, where she was expected to make a full recovery, Lackey said.

According to OCFA stats 25 people, 12 of them adults who were in or around the water alone, have drowned in Orange County in 2015, There were 43 drownings in all of 2014, and 37 the year before that. (Thus the formation of the Orange County Task Force on Drowning Prevention.)

There have been 42 near drownings in OC in 2015, nearing the 43 recorded all of last year and surpassing the 36 near-drownings in 2013. These sometimes result in permanent debilitating brain injuries, according to OCFA Capt. Steve Concaldi.

Email: mc****@oc******.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *