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Second drowning victim in church outing dies
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The daughter of a man who drowned in a Sunday Ceres church outing accident also has died.

Jessica Darrough, 23, died Tuesday morning at a Monterey hospital, never having regained consciousness after being pulled from the icy waters that claimed her father, Mark Darrough, 47, on Sunday.

The woman's condition worsened early Tuesday, taking away the decision to terminate life support from the family.

"There were about six or seven of us when she died," said Pastor Keith Mulligan of the Ceres Seventh-day Adventist Church. "Her body had just given up."

The pair of South Modesto residents lost their lives while trying to rescue a 13-year-old teen girl who was swept into the water by rough surf near Carmel on Sunday's church outing of the Pathfinder Club. The girl who fell into the water was rescued and is doing fine.

Both Darroughs were eventually pulled from the water by lifeguards. Mark was pronounced dead at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. An official with the State Parks system estimated that Mr. Darrough was in the water for approximately 37 minutes. Jessica was closer to the shore and in the water for about 15 minutes.

Two of three others in the Ceres group who jumped in to save the girl were injured and treated for exposure at the hospital.

The incident took place at Monastery Beach at the Carmel River State Beach Park in Monterey County where the currents were rough and the beach has a steep drop off.

The church's Pathfinder Club, for children aged 10 to 14, planned the Sunday outing. The group of 31 from the Ceres church decided to let the children play on the beach at about 3:15 p.m. and had been on the beach only a few moments when the girl was sitting on the sand near the surf and was swept in by a large wave. Seaside resident Noe Gomez jumped in to grab the girl and Darrough, a security guard, joined in, as did his daughter and church members Kara Claridge, Hector Gomez and Linda Haley. Gomez grabbed the girl and pulled her to safety but the surf had overcome the Darroughs. The others made it out.

Members of the Ceres church are drawing on their faith in God in dealing with Sunday's tragic church outing on the coast.

"It's been draining but the Lord gives strength," said Pastor Mulligan. "Sherry Darrough was a rock of strength. All those little kids saw this. The whole time she was sustaining them."

The fire department chaplain offered words and prayers for those affected by the tragedy, including those who are second-guessing their decisions that day.

"It's been remarkable how the community here and in Monterey peninsula really came through," said Mulligan.

The chaplain

Darrough was the third drowning victim of the beach since 2004.

Those who knew Darrough said he was kind, gentle, quiet but dependable.