A 62-year-old man died on Thursday after trying to ride his paddleboard down a flooded channel in Escondido, a city in North County San Diego, California.
According to reports, 911 operators received a call at around 4 p.m. that the victim, who has been identified as James Michael Miller, had fallen from his board and was swept away. Firefighters responded immediately to Escondido Creek, but realized quickly they needed help from the Swift Water Rescue team. Four teams were dispatched to assist while police blocked off the area as crews searched for the man. When they found him at just before 6 p.m. near the Tulip Street overpass, however, it became a body recovery effort.
Fire officials confirming this is a body recovery effort in #Escondido near the Tulip overpass. The person was seen on a paddle board or long board in the flood control channel. Video courtesy of Justin Salter. @fox5sandiego pic.twitter.com/7tOqhPvLQj
— Kasia Gregorczyk (@KasiaGTV) February 15, 2019
He was pulled from the channel at 6:15 p.m., and just over two hours from that initial call to 911, Miller was pronounced dead. NBC7 reported that crews found him stuck in a bush at the edge of the concrete channel, still under the water, with his paddleboard nearby.
Much of Southern California was battered by the storm that caused Escondido creek to swell after a record-breaking atmospheric river slammed the region.
Our thoughts are with his friends, family, and everyone affected by Miller’s passing.