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Cal State Fullerton Student Believed To Have Drowned After Saving Friends On Church Group Trip

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A Pomona teen who was on a church group trip at a Washington state beach is believed to have drowned after saving his friends when they got caught in a rip tide.Paul Alimoren, 18, was at Ocean Shores with seven other people from his church group on Saturday evening when they got caught in the current, according to CBS Los Angeles. Five of them were able to swim back to shore easily, but two were having problems, so Alimoren helped them get back to shore. However, witnesses said that Alimoren was then swept out to sea, and the last they saw of him was around 8:30 p.m., about half a mile away.

His two friends survived, but suffered from exhaustion and possibly ingesting sea water.

Rescue crews searched for Alimoren on Saturday and Sunday, but were unable to find his body as of Sunday. His brother, Philip Alimoren, wrote on his Facebook page that authorities declared him dead and that they were now doing a search for his body instead of a rescue search, according to NBC Los Angeles.

"My mom, she couldn't even talk," Philip Alimoren told CBS Los Angeles. "She was just weeping."

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Philip Alimoren says his brother was on a full-ride scholarship studying accounting at Cal State Fullerton, and was just trying to "save his best friend."

"He was an incredible leader," Pastor Jay Nepomuceno, who was at Alimoren's vigil, said. "He was really one of the best teenagers I've ever worked with. He was very talented musically, athletically — but humble as well. He was just a good, Christian young man."