A man helping a pastor perform a baptism in the Pacific Ocean was swept out to sea by a rogue wave on Sunday and has not been found.
Pastor Maurigro Cervantes of Jesus Christ Light of the Sky Church, told KCOY-TV that his cousin, Benito Flores, 43, was helping with the baptism when a wave grabbed him.“A big wave came and took Benito. I tried to take him out, he was heavy and then another big wave came,” Cervantes told KCOY.
Two other people were also pulled away from shore by the waves, but they were able to swim back to safety.
The baptism was being performed on the coast in Santa Barbara County.
KCOY reported that the Coast Guard continues to search for the man, although the Santa Barbara Fire Department had suspended its search.Cervantes told the Santa Maria Times that he performs the baptismal service at that location two or three times a year. He said about 25 people attended Sunday’s service.
The case is by no means new, even in this blog we have repeatedly reported similar kind of news whenever it had happened and reported in the news. So once again it shows freaque waves are totally unexpected and it can happen at any place at any time to any one. This time it also shows unfortunately replicating St John the Baptist's historical act in Jordan river is not without risks, even in the peaceful beach area. It had happened to all different instances, this may be the first time encountered by a serious religious ceremony. I certainly do not wish to discourage this kind of ceremony, but I do wish to make a modest suggestion: next time make certain everyone on the beach wear a life jacket just in case! Of course also make certain there should be life guard around just in case also. No excuse should be tolerated by not providing any safety cautions during this kind of occasions involves a group of people!