Marine veteran killed in jump from Oceanside Pier identified - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Marine veteran killed in jump from Oceanside Pier identified

Posted: Updated:

OCEANSIDE (KUSI) — Authorities Monday released the name of a former Marine who died after he jumped off the Oceanside Pier in front of his girlfriend and was swept out to sea. 

The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office identified him as Oceanside resident Mariano Aguilar Soto, 27.

Soto's body was retrieved Friday morning following an extensive three-hour search involving Oceanside police, firefighters, lifeguards and the U.S. Coast Guard, Oceanside police Lt. Adam Knowland said. 

Soto's girlfriend called 911 just after 3 a.m. Friday to report that Soto jumped off the pier and "immediately became distressed upon hitting the water" about 30 feet below, Knowland said. 

Oceanside Fire Battalion Chief Pete Lawrence said Soto was "reportedly a good swimmer" and took off his clothes before leaping off the pier, telling his girlfriend he planned to swim to shore after the jump. But a strong current pulled him quickly toward open water. 

Michael Cervantes, 18, of Menifee was on the pier and heard Soto yelling for help, Lawrence said. Seeing the victim struggling in the water and clinging to a pylon, Cervantes ran toward the beach, jumped into the water and swam to where he'd last seen Soto, but the older man had already been swept away.

Oceanside police sent officers to search from the pier above and a rescue vessel to search the water, while lifeguards went into the surf on paddle boards and WaveRunners and the Coast Guard sent a helicopter, Knowland said. 

The rip current in the area was strong, pulling the paddle-boarding life guards quickly away from shore in a northwest direction. Just after 6 a.m., the rescue boat found Soto's body floating in the water off the 700 block of The Strand. 

  • KUSI.com Feedback Form

    Questions or suggestions about this story? Message KUSI News below:

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thanks for your feedback.  We value your opinion!

MOST POPULAR SAN DIEGO NEWS

Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Sign up here for breaking news email alerts

    * denotes required fields

    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • SAN DIEGO WEATHER Supercast

Powered by Frankly

KUSI News

4575 Viewridge Ave. San Diego, CA 92123
Newsroom: 858-571-NEWS (6397)
Turko Files: 858-571-FILE (3453)
Business offices: 858-571-5151

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KUSI. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.