JENNER, Calif. - A man died and authorities are still searching for his two young kids after they were pulled in the ocean by waves at Blind Beach in Jenner on Sunday afternoon.
The father,who died attempting to save his kids, was identified Monday as 40-year-old Michael Wyman of Petaluma, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said the four-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl were swept away by a large wave Sunday around 2 p.m. and their father went in the water after them. He was able to grab his son, but they were swept out and eventually separated, according to Monte Rio Fire Protection District Chief Steve Baxman.
According to Misti Wood, Spokesperson for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, the morning fog and rain kept searchers grounded on the beach where they walked the coastline looking for any sign of the bodies. By afternoon, the weather had cleared enough for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Henry-1 helicopter to survey the choppy waters and rugged coastline.
"This is a tragedy," Wood said. "We have a father who has already passed away. We have two children that we believe have passed away that we're looking for. It's a really truly tragic situation for the entire family."
In a Monday afternoon update, Sgt. Damian Jones with California State Parks said thought there was still no sign of the children, the search will likely resume at daylight on Tuesday.
About a dozen people were out Monday for the search and recovery effort described as an emotional case for those involved.
Witnesses at the beach near the mouth of the Russian River were able to wade out into the dangerous surf and bring the man to shore. Life-saving efforts were performed but Wyman died at the scene.
The children's mother was knocked to her knees but she made it to safety.