A man was killed in San Diego after he rushed into the ocean to save his dogs that had been taken by a wave during a high surf advisory, authorities say.

Gregg Owens, 64, died Wednesday at a local hospital after he slammed into rocks at Ocean Beach and found face-down in the water 20 minutes later, San Diego County’s Medical Examiner Office said.

According to the office, Owens was walking his dogs with his wife along the beach when a wave took the pets into the water. After saving the dogs, another wave swept him away, and he then struck the rocks, the office said. Paramedics tried to revive him, according to the medical examiner.

San Diego County is under a high surf advisory until Thursday 10 p.m. PST, the National Weather Service warns. Lifeguards closed the pier at Ocean Beach Wednesday morning because of the high surf, CBS8 reported. 

Surfer Nick Wilkinson was at nearby Dog Beach when the incident happened and told ABC10, “It’s incredible the power of, basically, the outgoing tide. You could almost stand in it, ankle deep, and get sucked out.”

The TV station reported Owens was dragged about 75 yards from the beach. The dogs are believed to be OK, the station said.

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