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Bay Area Woman Drowns While Rescuing Children Caught in Undertow Near Half Moon Bay

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Cowell Ranch Beach is seen in a photo from August 2013. (Credit: Miguel Viera via Flickr)

Cowell Ranch Beach is seen in a photo from August 2013. (Credit: Miguel Viera via Flickr)

A 47-year-old woman died after being swept out to sea while she was trying to rescue children at Northern California beach over the weekend, officials said.

Emergency personnel attempted to revive Aarti Senthilvel after pulling her from the ocean at Cowell Ranch Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay, around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. But she died at the scene, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Senthilvel, of Pleasanton, was a mother who worked as a substitute lunch supervisor at the local school district, according to KTVU in Oakland.

Her brother-in-law told the station a group of relatives were enjoying a day at the beach on Sunday when 11 members of their party were pulled into the water by an undertow.

Senthilvel was able to help rescue three of the young children and teens, a sheriff’s detective told the Associated Press. But while her family members were making sure the children were OK, they didn’t notice Senthilvel had been pulled back out.

Some of the others involved suffered from hypothermia and were treated at the scene by firefighters, the Half Moon Bay Review reported.

Senthilvel’s drowning death is not the first such incident in California this year.

Late last month, a man died while trying to save a 5-year-old boy who fell into the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park. Another man was found dead after becoming swept up in the same waterway earlier in June.

And on June 2, a father and daughter were both killed after drowning in the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.

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