A man and a woman were swept Tuesday into the Pacific Ocean in Northern California by dangerous surf that included swells of 20 to 25 feet. The woman was rescued but the man remained missing, authorities said.
The two separate incidents in Pacifica came as weather forecasters and rescue personnel urged people to stay away from beaches and cliffs, the Mercury News reported.
“We are advising people to stay away,” Battalion Chief Jeff Huntze of the North County Fire Authority said. “If anyone is coming to visit the beach in the next few days, be very careful. It’s treacherous.”
The National Weather Service in a tweet early Tuesday also advised people not to go in or near the ocean or bay waters on Tuesday.
“Extremely dangerous size, currents, and bone-chilling temperatures (are expected),” the weather service wrote.
On California’s northern coast, a Utah magazine editor died after being swept into the sea.
A woman walking with her dog on a beach nearly drowned after being knocked over by what Huntze called a “sneaker wave.” A man flying a drone nearby saw the wave knock over the woman, and he ran to the area, along with another man who happened to be on the beach, Huntze said.
By the time rescue personnel arrived, the woman was vomiting ocean water, a sign of near-drowning. Rescue workers revived her and she was taken to a hospital. She was expected to be OK, Huntze said.
“Everything came together, and it was a good ending,” he said.
The search for a man who was pulled in by waves near the Pacifica Pier earlier Tuesday continued into the afternoon, hours after rescue personnel were dispatched around 7:45 a.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard sent two helicopters and three boats to search for the man, Huntze said. The man remained missing.
Huntze said an eyewitness told authorities that the man was walking on rocks about a half-mile north of the Pacifica Pier and got swept away by the surf.
There was a high surf advisory for the area for the rest of the day, Huntze said.