Firefighter Tragically Drowns In California After Swim In Pacific Ocean With Friend
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Firefighter Tragically Drowns In California After Swim In Pacific Ocean With Friend

In a tragic turn of events, an off-duty firefighter drowned while swimming in the Pacific Ocean with a friend. The California firefighter passed away after swimming the north side of the Pacific Pier south of La Jolla.

San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell confirmed to KTVU that Oakland firefighter Caeden Laffan passed away late last week. He was only 25 years old. His death comes just four years after his father passed away as a firefighter on the job. According to the Sand Diego Police Department, they responded to a call at 1:56 a.m. on Thursday after the firefighter went missing. Both Lifeguards and US Coast Guard began a frantic search to find Laffan.

Laffan had gone to the beach for a late-night swim with friends. He was in the water with a friend when he vanished. According to the friend, the firefighter went to waist-deep water, swam a few feet, and disappeared. Authorities believe alcohol may have played a factor in his tragic drowning.

Firefighter Drowns

"We searched for a couple of hours with a rescue boat and land units. And a Coast Guard helicopter," San Diego Fire-Rescue Lt. Rick Romero told KTVU. "We weren't able to locate him. We were doing our last patrol on the shoreline, and our lifeguard sergeant spotted him. He had washed onto the beach on the north side of the pier. Unfortunately, incidents happen. And it's just a sad story."

A graduate of Oakland's Recruit Academy in 2019, the firefighter will be remembered for his enthusiastic personality.

"Caeden Laffan was a young enthusiastic member of the Oakland Fire Department, with a bright future ahead of him, and we're all heartbroken today after learning of this tragic event," Oakland Fire Chief Damon Covington said in a press release. "Our hearts go out to the entire Laffan family, and all who know him, worked with him, and loved him."

Laffan followed in his father's footsteps. He wanted to help people.

"I knew I wanted to be an Oakland firefighter because of my dad. He inspired me the second, I got out of high school to pursue my EMT and paramedic license," Caeden Laffen told KTVU in 2020. "We had about 10 years we could have worked together in the fire department. It got cut short to a year but I loved every second of it that's for sure."