BODEGA BAY (CBS SF) – A Sonoma Coast State Beach lifeguard prevented three people from drowning at Wright’s Beach on the Sonoma County coast Monday morning, a sheriff’s sergeant said.

The sheriff’s office received a report around 9 a.m. that three people were in distress in the water at the beach, located south of Jenner and north of Bodega Bay, Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Hoener said.

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Hoener said two 12-year-old boys in wetsuits were boogie boarding when they got caught in a riptide. One of the boys managed to get to shore, but the other did not, Hoener said.

A Santa Rosa man who is the father of at least one of the boys and a woman who was in the area entered the water in their street clothes in a rescue attempt and also got caught in the rip tide, Hoener said.

The lifeguard paddled out to the trio on his surfboard and brought them out of the rip tide to deeper water, Hoener said.

The three were then put aboard a boat from the Coast Guard’s Bodega Bay station and were flown by sheriff’s helicopter Henry-1 to shore, where paramedics were waiting, Hoener said.

One of the 12-year-old boys was airlifted to Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, Hoener said.

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The father, the woman and the other 12-year-old boy were taken to Palm Drive Hospital by ambulance.

Hoener said there are signs posted warning of the dangers of swimming at Wright’s Beach.

“It’s one of the most dangerous beaches you can find,” Hoener said. “You can get sucked out so easily. It happens quickly. You can’t turn your back.”

The Bodega Bay Fire Department and a California Highway Patrol helicopter also responded, Hoener said.

“Everybody did a good job,” Hoener said. “It was a team effort. They’re very lucky they weren’t swept out to sea. We could be looking for three bodies right now.”

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