Autopsy: Lifeguard died of accidental drowning in rough waters off Southern California beach

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NEWPORT BEACH, California — An autopsy has concluded that a veteran Newport Beach lifeguard died of accidental drowning after jumping in the water to help a struggling swimmer as rough waves battered Southern California in July.

The Los Angeles Times says the autopsy report notes bruises and scrapes on Ben Carlson's forehead and the bridge of his nose. The report also says the 32-year-old had a severely enlarged heart.

Coroner's officials also detected THC, the main active ingredient in marijuana, in Carlson's blood. But officials say the THC wasn't a contributing factor in his death.

Carlson died July 6.

The 15-year department veteran had gone into the water from a boat to help a swimmer when they were hit by a large wave. Carlson went under, and the swimmer made it to shore safely.

Information from: Los Angeles Times,

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