A Turlock father and his adult son drowned earlier this week after they were swept out into the pounding waves off a treacherous San Francisco beach.
Jose Garcia Sr., 47, of Turlock and his son, Jose Garcia Jr., 24, of Merced, were swimming in the waters off Ocean Beach, across from the Great Highway Wednesday afternoon with their son/brother Lorenzo Gonzales.
The San Francisco Fire Department received a 911 call at 3:44 p.m. reporting two men had been swept out by the surging waves.
The first crews arrived at 3:49 p.m. and found one man on the beach. He had been pulled in by a surfer and was unresponsive. The second man was unconscious and still in the water. He was pulled from the water at 4:01 p.m., according to the fire department.
Both men were rushed to area hospitals with life-threatening conditions. The father died on Wednesday at UCSF Medical Center and his son died Thursday at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco.
Gonzales said this was his brother's first trip to the beach since he was five years old. He said his brother and dad were "inseparable" and "truly the best of friends."
"There was never a dull moment and they always made each other laugh," said Gonzales.
Jose Garcia Jr. attended Livingston High School and graduated from Valley High School. He was a student at Merced Junior College and had one daughter.
Jose Garcia Sr. is survived by his wife, Genie; daughter, Tiffany; and sons, Rodney, Lorenzo, Jesse and Ramon.
A viewing will be held Oct. 6 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock and a funeral held Oct. 7 at Turlock Funeral Home. The family has started a gofundme account to raise funds for the funerals and for Jose Garcia, Jr.'s daughter's education. To contribute, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/f3p0ok
Ocean Beach has a reputation of having strong rip tides and a storm earlier this week only strengthened the waves in the area. On the same day of the drowning, the Coast Guard and emergency responders rescued several surfers that had been swept out to sea.