62-year-old ID’d as paddle boarder killed in Escondido channel

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SAN DIEGO– The man who was swept away as he tried to ride a paddle board in a flooded Escondido channel this week was identified by authorities Saturday.

Crews with San Diego Fire-Rescue’s Swift Water Rescue Team recovered the body of 62-year-old James Michael Miller from a the flooded Escondido Creek near Rose Street Thursday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

The 911 call came in just before 4 p.m. Thursday. The caller reported a man with a paddle board being swept away by rushing water. Rescue crews quickly positioned themselves along the channel to intercept him, but when they caught up with his body near the Tulip Street overpass, it became a recovery effort.

Miller was pronounced dead after he was pulled from the channel around 6:15 p.m.

“The water is very swift and it’s just as dangerous for our firefighters as it was for the person who stepped into the water,” said Jeff Murdock with the Escondido Fire Department.

Four swift water rescue teams and nearly 10 engines responded to the rescue effort as police worked to block off and secure the area between Hale Avenue and Valley Parkway. It took a couple of hours and a very carefully executed plan before teams could successfully recover the man’s body.

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