Man Dies After Jumping 40 Feet from Pier, Following Woman Who Returned to Shore Alive

A 44-year-old man died Sunday after jumping 40 feet from the Huntington Beach Pier into the choppy water below, after he followed a woman who jumped before him, authorities in California said.

Fenton Auston Dee III, from Norwalk, Calif., was pulled from the water by surfers before first responders transported him to a nearby hospital in Newport Beach, where he was pronounced dead, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The coroner’s office is planning on conducting an autopsy and toxicology report on Dee’s body, Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, told the newspaper.

The 36-year-old woman, with whom he was seen speaking moments before they both jumped, survived the incident, Fox LA reports.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty

Witnesses along the pier at around 6:30 p.m. saw the pair talking, while standing outside the railing of the pier’s structure.

“It looked like she just wanted to jump for fun, like she wanted to do it and then she didn’t,” Edmundo Alarcon told the Times. “You can tell he didn’t want to [jump]. I don’t know if he was trying to stop her.”

After the woman successfully jumped and cleared the pylons below, onlookers cheered. It was at that point that Dee jumped, possibly to help the woman, witnesses told the publication. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty

Authorities say jumping from the pier is dangerous and not allowed.

“The ocean conditions are constantly changing based on tides, surf conditions and time of the year,” Huntington Beach Marine Safety Division Chief Eric Dieterman said in a statement. “Due to these changing conditions, and the 40- to 45-foot pier height, pier jumping is prohibited.”

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