Sunday, October 19, 2014

Heroic attempts to save a woman on a Coastside beach, powerful currents

The woman did not survive.

Half Moon Bay Review/Mark Noack, 10/16/14.  "Woman drowns at local beach, powerful swells cause injuries."Beautiful weather attracted large crowds to Coastside beaches including Gray Whale Cove, but the surf was exceptionally powerful." (Caption from the article photograph by Bill Murray).
6 feet waves, powerful undercurrent

Gray Whale Cove
"Coastside firefighters were called out to the beach around 2:30 p.m. (10/16/14) on reports that three people had nearly drowned and needed emergency CPR. When they arrived, they found a large group of people surrounding an unresponsive adult female and two conscious men who had all been pulled out of the water. The woman reportedly had been standing near the waterline at Gray Whale Cove when a wave hit her and knocked her off her feet.

San Bruno resident Manny Ponce said he and the woman’s son tried to help her stay afloat, but the water kept pulling her back. They soon found themselves also struggling in the tides. The waves were only about 6 feet high, Ponce said, but the undercurrents were the most powerful he had ever experienced.

....  About a dozen beachgoers eventually formed a human chain in order to keep themselves safe and help pull the mother out of the water, Ponce said. They were able to grab her when she was washed close to shore.

State Parks lifeguard Jeff Wadkins urged beachgoers not to attempt to swim out to rescue someone swept out by the ocean currents, unless they have training to do so. In such cases, rescuers could be putting themselves in danger, he warned. For water emergencies, Wadkins suggested the best option is to call 911 and to keep a close eye on where the victim is located at all times. Read article.

Note Gray Whale Cove photographs: coastal view by Andy Sternberg ( from Best California Beaches; wave crashing shore by T. Davis from Places to visit in CA.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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