Young Firefighter’s Body Discovered on Beach

San Diego, California – The body of a young Oakland firefighter who drowned in Pacific Beach has been recovered by lifeguards, according to authorities. The victim, identified as 25-year-old Caeden Laffan, was found dead after a two-hour search for a missing swimmer near Grand Avenue. Laffan was in San Diego for the Firefighting Summer Olympics, said Oakland Fire Chief Damon Covington.

Laffan’s body was discovered washed into the north side of Crystal Pier, confirmed San Diego Fire-Rescue Lt. Rick Romero. Prior to this, a search team had scoured the area using a lifeguard boat and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell personally informed Oakland’s fire chief of the tragic news. “I knew from our own experience of having to go through tragic accidents like this,” said Stowell. “I reached out to him and expressed my condolences, but also made sure that he knew that we would take care of his member just like one of our members down here, as well as the family.”

The circumstances surrounding Laffan’s drowning remain unclear. However, Chief Covington mentioned that the young firefighter was not alone at the time. Family and friends, including other firefighters from Oakland, were present at the scene throughout the search. Distressed loved ones draped an American flag over Laffan’s body before it was taken away in an ambulance.

The Oakland Fire Department is deeply affected by this tragedy, as Laffan’s father, Sean Laffan, was an assistant fire chief who died in the line of duty in November 2020. Both Caeden and his brother, Cooper, aspired to follow in their father’s footsteps.

An investigation into the drowning is currently underway. San Diego Fire-Rescue and Oakland Fire Department are working together to support Laffan’s family and fellow firefighters during this difficult time.