Monterey County

UPDATE: Investigators identify BASE jumper presumed dead near Bixby Bridge

Base-jumpers presumed dead after Bixby Bridge jump

BIG SUR, Calif. - UPDATE 1/25/16 1:14 PM: Investigators with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office are releasing more information on the case surrounding two BASE jumpers, presumed dead, after jumping from the Bixby Bridge near Big Sur.

One of the two victims has been identified as Mary Katherine "Katie" Connell from Ventura.

"The video tracks her as she descends 300 feet to the beach below," Sheriff Steve Bernal said. "She is seen making a successful landing onto the surf at the mouth of the Bixby Creek, several large sets of waves seem to overtake her in a matter of seconds."

Bernal said the video, captured from a helmet camera, shows a man jumping off Bixby Bridge to help her. He presumably takes off his helmet and parachute to rescue her, and that's where the video stops. 

"At this time, based on the video and our investigation, both subjects are presumed to have drowned," Bernal said. 

The ocean's conditions at the time of the jump were treacherous because of King Tides and recent storms. Bernal said that puts rescuers in jeopardy. 

"When you have jumps like this that are not successful, then we're putting our search and rescue team, we're putting their lives in danger searching for people when they get lost in the surf. And just people merely standing on the rocks, just sightseeing, or when they get swept out to sea, we're putting our lives in danger trying to retrieve them," Bernal said.

UPDATE 1/25/16 12:44 PM: A Monterey Fire boat was seen near Bixby Bridge in Big Sur Monday morning, as law enforcement continue searching for a second person missing after a BASE-jumping accident.

On Sunday, the Monterey County Sheriff's Office said another person is presumed dead.

NewsChannel 5's Mariana Hicks will have more on this story, after a press conference with the Sheriff's Office at 1PM.

UPDATE: 1/24/16 4:30p.m: One person has been reported dead after BASE-jumping off Bixby Bridge, according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

The BASE-jumper has not been identified and there is still no word on the second person initially reported missing.

Deputies said they will be holding a press conference on Monday where they will provide more information and possibly release video showing the incident.

ORIGINAL: The Monterey County Sheriff's Office has confirmed two people, who were BASE-jumping off Bixby Bridge, have been missing since Saturday morning.

The Sheriff's Dive Team responded to the search Sunday morning, but deputies said it has been temporarily called off due to high surf conditions

News Channel 5 will continue to update this article as more information comes in.

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