Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Inclinejj

Be careful in the surf..another rescue today

Rate this topic

12 posts in this topic

icon1.gif

Woman, child injured in surf at Montara Beach

 

 

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer

Monday, June 29, 2009

 

 

(06-29) 21:09 PDT SAN MATEO COUNTY, CALIF. -- A 5-year-old girl and a 40-year-old woman were swept away in the waters off Montara State Beach in San Mateo County Monday afternoon and transported by helicopter to be treated at Stanford Hospital, officials said.

 

The condition of the two unidentified victims was not known late Monday, but authorities said both suffered life threatening injuries.

As many as 40 members of various rescue crews responded to the beach at 4:21 p.m. to the report of the victims being swept away in the surf.

One of the victims was rescued in the water, and the other ended up back on the beach, said Cal Fire Division Chief Richard Sampson.

"We have what sounds like a family playing at the beach, Montara State Beach, when two were swept away," Sampson said.

One of the victims was rescued by the Coast Guard and harbor patrol, then flown to Stanford Hospital. The other was taken in another helicopter to be treated at the same hospital, Sampson said.

Five others were able to get out of the water and get medical treatment on their own, he said.

"It was a very dynamic scene, a lot of people were trying to take care of the two victims," Sampson said.

Sampson said the 40 members of the various rescue teams went into a stress debriefing Monday night.

"It was not a calm day at the beach - the surf was up fairly good," Sampson said. "Whether there was a rip tide involved I cannot speak to that. But on this beach, that is not unusual."

E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com.

(06-29) 21:09 PDT SAN MATEO COUNTY, CALIF. -- A 5-year-old girl and a 40-year-old woman were swept away in the waters off Montara State Beach in San Mateo County Monday afternoon and transported by helicopter to be treated at Stanford Hospital, officials said.

 

 

 

The condition of the two unidentified victims was not known late Monday, but authorities said both suffered life threatening injuries.

As many as 40 members of various rescue crews responded to the beach at 4:21 p.m. to the report of the victims being swept away in the surf.

One of the victims was rescued in the water, and the other ended up back on the beach, said Cal Fire Division Chief Richard Sampson.

"We have what sounds like a family playing at the beach, Montara State Beach, when two were swept away," Sampson said.

One of the victims was rescued by the Coast Guard and harbor patrol, then flown to Stanford Hospital. The other was taken in another helicopter to be treated at the same hospital, Sampson said.

Five others were able to get out of the water and get medical treatment on their own, he said.

"It was a very dynamic scene, a lot of people were trying to take care of the two victims," Sampson said.

Sampson said the 40 members of the various rescue teams went into a stress debriefing Monday night.

"It was not a calm day at the beach - the surf was up fairly good," Sampson said. "Whether there was a rip tide involved I cannot speak to that. But on this beach, that is not unusual."

E-mail Jaxon Van Derbeken at jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad, Sad news. Never want to see youngins get taken in the surf. I will say that too many people take swimming or even wading in our surf as something that is safe. Too many times inlanders come to the beach and think it would be fun. With the heat and swell conditions we have had this past couple of weeks I am not surprised more have not perished.

In conditions we have been having we as stewards of are area should warn people about the swift under currents and crushing waves. Yesterday was no time to be playing in the waves.

Even us stoney fishermen must be careful on days like these. One wrong step and things go bad quickly.

frown.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nappening more & more it seems..Mostly a child & woman...When you tell the adult that its a dangerous place for kids , they give you a blank stare..Its probably a adult thats never been in the ocean & personally experienced the undertow & strong force of the waves..cOUPLEYRS AGO , i TOLD A LADY MINDING A SMALL CHILD, THAT she shouldn't let her child play in the little creek at the north end of rockaway, since its a outflow of a serwage plant..She imediately left with the child...I guess she washed it real good at home...They just don't read the warning signs,, Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Desperate sea rescue couldn't save mom, girl

 

 

Henry K. Lee,Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writers

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

 

 

whitepixel.gif

 

(06-30) 15:31 PDT MONTARA -- The owner of a Walnut Creek ceramic studio and her 5-year-old daughter were identified today as the victims who were dragged out to sea and drowned during a family outing at Montara State Beach in San Mateo County.

 

 

ba-drown01_0500325173_part1.jpg plus-green.gif View Larger Image

 

Romila Higgins, 41, and her daughter, Indali Higgins, both of Walnut Creek, were swept away about 4:20 p.m. Monday. Rescuers came agonizingly close to saving both, only to have the waves pull them back to sea.

Romila Higgins, who went by name Angie, was at the beach with Indali - whom everyone called Indu - her 9-year-old daughter, Jaya, and three nieces, all of San Leandro, said her husband, Scott Higgins, 43, who was not on the outing.

Montara State Beach is notorious for a rip current that can be as broad as 50 yards and extend a half-mile into the Pacific, and Monday, "the surf was up fairly good," said Richard Sampson, a Cal Fire division chief.

One of Higgins' nieces, 22-year-old Shivani Pratap, said she and another niece, who is 16, had ventured into the water in wetsuits and carrying boogie boards, but had turned back because it was too rough. Higgins' two young daughters and a 9-year-old niece played at the edge of the water, she said, and didn't want to go in because it was too cold.

As they emerged from the surf, Pratap said, she saw "a really powerful wave" knock down the 9-year-old, Sita Pratap.

Higgins, holding Indu's hand, rushed over and tried to grab Sita, Pratap said. A second wave hit them and began to pull them all out to sea.

"I saw the domino effect of all the girls falling," said the 16-year-old niece, Simi Randawa.

Zucu Bermann, 27, of San Francisco told The Chronicle today that she saw what was happening, swam through the crashing waves and managed to reach Angie Higgins, Indu and an older girl.

Indu was screaming "Help us!" and her mother was yelling, "My baby, my baby!" Bermann said.

Bermann and one of the girls were able to get Higgins and Indu to hang onto a boogie board that the group had been using, but they "could not keep their heads above the water," Bermann said.

They were getting close to shore when more strong waves "knocked everyone loose," she said.

The only person Bermann could grab was Indu.

"Somehow I was able to grasp the little girl," who was limp in her arms, Bermann said. "And I just held onto her, probably through like four really heavy waves. I was underwater a really long time."

Finally, Bermann said, the group surfaced, and she felt the ground. "We were very much in shallow water." She said she doesn't remember clearly what happened next.

Citing accounts by witnesses, Sheriff's Lt. Ray Lunny said: "When they reached the shore she let go ... certain that the water level was very shallow and there were enough people around."

Instead, somehow, the girl was swept out to sea again, Lunny said.

"I don't know if she got knocked out of my hands. I don't know if I handed her off," Bermann said. "The next thing you know, by the time I'm able to breathe, I stood up and I realized there was no one around me anymore."

Bermann said she is heartbroken the girl wasn't saved.

"All that goes through my mind is her face," she said. "I keep seeing her face."

Angie Higgins was finally pulled from the water and brought to the beach. The Pillar Point harbor master, in a rescue boat, found Indu floating in the ocean about a quarter-mile south. Mother and daughter were taken by separate helicopters to Stanford Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.

Scott Higgins, who works at a garden and pet store in Walnut Creek, said Indu had just finished kindergarten. She loved to play on the swing hanging from a big oak tree in the family's front yard, and to sing and dance to music of any kind.

"She was dancing to 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat' over the weekend," said Higgins, sitting on an overstuffed couch next stuffed animals and children's toys.

Angie Higgins was the owner of All in the Kiln, a ceramic studio in Walnut Creek where children and adults can paint their own pottery. She was also "a very accomplished skilled martial artist," and held a fifth-degree black belt in Okinawan karate, her husband said.

But above all, he said, "She was a very, very dedicated mother."

E-mail the writers at hlee@sfchronicle.com and mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess its probably better to stick your nose in some ones privacy & try to explain the dangers on these beaches... Even if you get the I KNOW LOOK...At least you've tried..I wouldn't want to find out deaths occured by doing nothing..Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have told parents probably a couple thousand times..The parents are 25 to 50 yards away from the kids not watching them and when You tell them hey keep an eye on your kids, they look at you and want to flip you the bird

 

Also when the kids are playing in Calera Creek, I walk over and tell them that water comes from the Waste Water Treatment Plant..

 

Montara State Beach on the South Side is known for a nasty rip current..

 

kooky.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very very traject, the undertoll along the surf line is always dangerous and easy to lose your footing. I weight over 250 lbs when I used to surf fish and my duff met the sand many of times because I was not carefull. My prayers and thoughts goes out for the young lady and little 5 year old girl.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Same here about 220-225 ish and I have been picked up and slammed on my azz a few times..

 

My best one was trying to bend over and grab my leader and pull him up out of the water and tripping over something backwards and landing on my azz!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surf undertow is bad but so is the rivers or streams. If you do not get knocked down while flyfishing you are not in position to catch a fish. While wading a stream or river during high water periods I get knocked down one out of ten times while trying to position myself to make the casts to an waiting feeding fish. This always happens to me while dry fly fishing and casting across stream while making a long cast. You position yourself to cast making sure that you can get the proper backcast. So not only the surflines is dangerous but also the rivers and streams. My advice to anyone who wades rivers and streams always use a wading staff or a tree limb for stabilization with cleats on your wader soles during high water periods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.