Three die after being washed into ocean in Southern California

TeamDAF/iStockBy MARK OSBORNE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Three people were killed on Thursday when they were washed into the Pacific Ocean in Ventura County, California.

The apparent accident happened at just after 4:30 p.m. local time near the Pacific Coast Highway when the three individuals were swept by a wave into the water while on some rocks along the coastline, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The incident took place just northwest of Malibu.

After initially saying the three people were plucked from the ocean in critical condition, the fire department said about 20 minutes later that all three were pronounced dead.

"When we got on scene we were able to confirm there were three people unaccounted for from a family and when we got on scene we were able to do a rapid search of the water and we were able to rescue all three out of the water. However, they were fatally injured," Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Brian McGrath said.

Authorities also said no other people are missing and search operations were concluded.

It is unclear what caused the people to be washed into the ocean or the individuals' ages or identities. The Ventura County Sheriff's Department will be conducting an investigation.

The Oxnard Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard were among the agencies responding to the scene to assist the Ventura County Fire Department.

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