A 36-year-old Garden Grove man’s body was found on Monday, Aug. 31, in Huntington Beach’s tide – the fourth body found in Orange County waters in a little over a week.
Kevin Bechtold died in the water just before 5 a.m., according to Orange County coroner officials. It was found at about 5:30 a.m., near Tower 14, said Kevin Pearsall, superintendent of State Parks Orange Coast.
Huntington Beach police did not respond to requests seeking details about how the man could have ended up in the water, or who found him.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, a body was recovered in the ocean off of Laguna Beach after a swimmer went missing a day earlier. The body was that of Jeffrey Tregaskes, 46, of Dana Point.
Four days earlier, the body of Dylan Haihuu Duong, 25, of Santa Ana was found in the water off of Huntington Beach.
And on Aug. 21, Louis Alberto Sanchez, 29, of Bloomington after he was found face down in the water 100 yards off of Table Rock Beach in Laguna Beach.
“It does seem like we’ve had quite a few (drownings) lately, but in comparison to the past it’s actually fewer,” Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Breckner said.
That dip in drownings could be from beach closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breckner pointed out that the causes of death for the four recent drownings have not been determined. Autopsy and toxicology reports were pending.
It is unclear if the elements contributed to any of the deaths, but a National Weather Service official said the waves have been calm.
“It’s been pretty quiet on the surface side,” meteorologist Mark Moede said. “We haven’t really had any big swells. We have been basically forecasting one- to three-foot swells for the past three weeks.”
Typically when the swell is elevated, an advisory is issued but none have been lately in Orange County, Moede said.
Staff writer Laylan Connelly contributed to this report.
Source: Orange County Register