An 82-year-old woman and her son died Saturday when their boat capsized in waves off northern California and the Coast Guard helicopter attempting to rescue them crashed into the water.
Two other passengers in the boat swam to shore and were taken to the hospital. The three-member Coast Guard crew suffered only minor injuries.
The four boaters were tossed into the water near Samoa Beach after their vessel, the White Horse II, came to close to the breaking surf and capsized, officials said.
The Coast Guard crew had lowered a rescue swimmer into the water when the helicopter suddenly crashed into the surf, officials said.
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy Roy Reynolds was helping a victim on the shore when the helicopter went down.
“Next thing I know the helicopter was in the water,” Reynolds said.
Vesta Lorraine Baker and her son, Charles Wayne Baker, 59, both drowned, according to the Humboldt County Coroner.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.