Tragedy strikes California, as a family by the name of Kuljian has lost a mother, a father, and presumably, a son.
Howard Kuljian and his family were out on Big Lagoon beach on a damp, overcast morning, playing fetch with their dog Fran.
Signs near the beach warned of “sneaker waves,” as the ten-foot waves crashed into the shore.
Kuljian tossed a stick that took the dog down to the water’s edge, and in an instant, authorities said, a wave swallowed it, sending the family into a frenzy.
“Everything kind of snowballed from there,” Coast Guard Lt. Bernie Garrigan said.
Gregory Kuljian, Howard’s 16-year-old son, ran to save the dog, only to be swallowed up by the raging waves himself.
The 54-year-old Howard went to save his son.
Gregory managed to pull himself back onto the beach, but once he realized his father was drowning, both he and his mother, 57-year-old Mary Scott, went in to save him.
Meanwhile, on the beach, their 18-year-old daughter, Olivia, and Gregory’s girlfriend could only watch.
Both parents’ bodies were later recovered, but the boy – presumed dead – is still missing.
The dog eventually made it back to shore.
Students at Gregory’s high school wore green in his memory Monday.
By late afternoon, more than 1,300 people “liked” a Facebook page set up by the teenager’s friends called “Wear Green for Geddie” – Geddie being his nickname.
In addition, many showed support on Twitter using the hashtag #WearGreenForGeddie.
“I will always remember him no matter how long,” wrote Emmalaya Owen on the Facebook page. “Especially how he was such an upbeat happy person or how he tried to put up ‘Be Happy’ propaganda posters he drew around school.”
Others were trying to come to terms with the deaths.
“He was just a friendly guy, and everyone who knew him liked him, and his family was very close,” said Day Robins, a high school senior. She said Gregory and his family were active in school athletics and sailing.
The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter and two motorized life boats to find the teenager, but thick coastal fog made the search difficult. The parks department also called off its search.
“When there is shorebreak like that, you don’t even have to go into the water to be pulled into the sea,” said a Coast Guard official. “It’s a reminder to be real careful around the ocean.”
Jordan Shepherd | Elite.