Man drowns while trying to save others 

A Beaumont man drowned after he attempted to rescue a Baytown man who fell off a concrete pier near the Pleasure Island Marina Friday morning, police said.  John Aiena, 44, of Beaumont died after he jumped off the pier to save George Comeaux, police said.  Two Port Arthur men pulled Comeaux from the water but were unsuccessful in efforts to save Aiena.  Port Arthur firefighters responded to the call at about 9:25 a.m. and Aiena was found at about 12:08 p.m. after a search of the area with assistance from the Coast Guard, said William Wallace, Port Arthur Fire Department battalion chief. 

George Comeaux, 38, was listed in critical condition at Park Place Hospital and was on life support systems, a nursing supervisor at the hospital said.  Police responded to the incident at the marina at about 9 a.m. and found that Comeaux had been fishing along the pier at the marina when a wave knocked him into the water.  Comeaux yelled for help and Aiena jumped in the water to assist him, but both men were overcome by the current, police said.  Before rescue personnel arrived at the scene, two Port Arthur men entered the water in an attempt to save the men, police said. 
Calvin Rising, Jr. and Richard Wyatt were successful in their attempt to save the Comeaux, police said.  "It was very courageous." said Sgt. T.K. Donnell, Port Arthur Police Department spokesman.  "It took a lot of guts to jump in there." Donnell said.  "All I want to hear is good news from Park Place Hospital." said  Wyatt, owner of Pier 600 restaurant.  "I don't think Rising or I gave it a second thought.....the men were there and we had to go get them." Wyatt said.
Rising said he did not consider himself a hero.  He said Aiena was the real hero for giving his life attempting to save Comeaux.  Rising, an Ameripol-Synpol employee, was conducting a seminar at the Pier 600 restaurant when a man informed him that someone fell into the water, he said.  The young man was fishing on the west side of the revetment when the wind knocked his bait bucket into the water, Rising said.  When he tried to retrieve the bucket, he fell in. 
Aiena, who was about 150 feet from Comeaux, entered the water from the west pier to help him but "the current grabbed them." Rising said.  Wyatt gave him a 100-foot extension cord and he went to the pier and threw it to the men to no avail, he said.  Wyatt called police for assistance.  "The man (Aiena) who originally swam over to save that fellow, went down and never came back up." Rising said.  He and Wyatt obtained a lifesaver and jumped into the water, he said.
"We wouldn't have made it without that life ring.  We were all pooped out."  Rising said.  "We swam out to him (Comeaux) and tried to come back the way we swam." Wyatt said.  He and Rising discovered they could not swim against the current so they swam to the opposite pier and pulled the man onto the barrier, Wyatt said.  A matter of minutes after the man was pulled out of the water, an ambulance arrived, he said.
"I stayed there on the water and held the man on the wave barrier." Wyatt said.  "The only thing that we can speculate is that he (Aiena) was swimming against the current and must have exhausted himself." he said.  "I was very surprised the current was that strong.  The wind was up this morning and it was very choppy." he said.


Man dies from fall

A Baytown man who fell into Sabine Lake on Friday died Saturday night at Park Place Hospital George Comeaux, 38, died sometime before Sunday morning while hooked up to life support systems, but hospital officials did not release an exact time of death.  Comeaux was attempting to retrieve a bait bucket while fishing at the Pleasure Island marina Friday morning.  He apparently lost his balance and fell into the lake, according to local police.
Comeaux was admitted to Park Place Hospital on Friday in critical condition.  Johnny Kelly Aiena, 44, attempted to save Comeaux.  But, he was pulled under the waves by a strong current and drowned, according to police.  Attempts by fishermen and two men attending a seminar at the Pier 600 restaurant to rescue Aiena were unsuccessful.  Coast Guard officials found his body around noon Friday.


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