The Orange County coroner confirmed early Monday that a Newport Beach lifeguard died while trying to rescue a man from the water off Newport Beach.
The exact cause of death was pending an autopsy later in the week, according to the press release issued by the Orange County coroner's office confirming 32-year-old Benjamin Carlson was pronounced dead at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, shortly after he was pulled out of the water near 27th Street. The coroner estimated his time of injury as 5 p.m.
The coroner's release noted Carlson was a Newport Beach resident.
Carlson was a 15-year Newport Beach lifeguard veteran, Newport Beach Fire Department Chief Scott Poster said.
Jennifer Manzella, public information officer with the Newport Beach Police Department, said rescuers had been searching for Carlson for at least 90 minutes.
He had reached a swimmer who got into trouble in the area of 16th Street when they were hit by 10-foot waves, Poster said. The swimmer made it back safely, according to the chief.
It was the first time in 100 years that Newport Beach lost a lifeguard in the line of duty, Poster said.