One adult and two preteen boys were rescued from the surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco around 5 p.m. Sunday.
According to a San Francisco Fire Department spokesman, the three had gone for a swim and were caught in a rip current. Ocean Rescue, the lifeguard unit of the National Parks Service, was on patrol and quickly rescued the swimmers from the water, Lt. Jonathan Baxter said.
All three were conscious and able to talk, he said, but they were fatigued and in need of paramedic aid.
They are expected to make full recoveries.
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"One of the preteen boys said, 'I thought I was going to die,'" Baxter said, explaining the situation was a close call.
There was no high surf advisory for Ocean Beach on Sunday, but Baxter said officials discourage people from swimming at Ocean Beach because of the rip currents, sneaker waves and cold temperatures.