Kevin Cody

Skateboard pioneer Jake Piasecki drowns in ocean off of Hermosa Beach [Update]

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Jake Piasecki was recognized as one of skateboarding's most influential skaters.

Jake Piasecki was recognized as one of skateboarding’s most influential figures.

Seminal Hermosa Beach skateboarder Jake Piasecki, 46, drowned in the ocean off First Street in Hermosa Beach Thursday evening. At about 6 p.m., several people on the beach saw Piasecki swim out to sea and disappear, prompting them to call 911, according to Hermosa Beach Police Sergeant Robert Higgins. A search by Hermosa police and fire, lifeguards, Coast Guard and Redondo Harbor Patrol had been underway for approximately two hours when Hermosa Police Officer Matt Rushton spotted Piasecki in shallow water. Officer Rushton had been driving along the beach with his patrol car’s spotlight on the water’s edge.

Resuscitation efforts by Rushton and Hermosa paramedics were  unsuccessful. Community Service officer Chris Aviles identified Piasecki, but police initially withheld his name, pending notification of his family, Officer Higgins said.

Hermosa Beach Community Service Officer Chris Aviles and Police Officers Matt Rushton and Sgt Robert Higgins await the arrival of a Los Angeles County Coroner, following their recovery of a 46 year-old drowning victim. Photo by Kevin Cody

Hermosa Beach Community Service Officer Chris Aviles and Police Officers Matt Rushton and Sgt Robert Higgins await the arrival of a Los Angeles County Coroner, following their recovery of a 46 year-old drowning victim. Photo by Kevin Cody

Lifelong friend and former pro skateboarder Dave Hatton said of Piasecki, “The things he could do on a skateboard were truly magical. He was one of Hermosa’s most influential skateboarders. When I was 10 years old, Jake told me if you want to skate the ramp, you’ve got to drop in. I walked up on the platform and dropped in. It was the scariest moment of my life. He used to tell me that four wheels and a piece of wood will set you free.

To help Piasecki’s family with expenses, Hatton has started a fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/2vdjn50.

 

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