On February 3, 2011 at about 8:20 a.m., Sheriff’s deputies and Henry-1 were called along with State Parks rangers, Bodega Bay and Monte Rio fire departments for a surf rescue at Portuguese Beach in Bodega Bay. A woman was reported to have been swept into the water by a wave. Waves in the Portuguese Beach area were measuring about ten feet high at the time.
It was later learned that the woman, age 51 of Auburn, CA, had been walking with her husband and their two dogs along Portuguese Beach when one of the dogs, a Pug, was swept into the surf. The woman, in attempt to save the dog, was subsequently overcome by the waves and drug into the surf. A passer-by summoned help. Her husband, another citizen and an arriving State Parks ranger eventually were able to get the woman up onto shore and out of the crashing waves. She was reported to have been in the cold water for about 20-25 minutes while emergency assistance was being sought.
Once out of the water, CPR was started immediately by State Parks personnel. Henry-1 arrived along with other EMS crews. The woman was not able to be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene. She was later brought to the top of the bluff by Henry-1 long-line. The dog also perished and was recovered after washing ashore. A Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplain responded to the scene to be of assistance during this tragedy.
This case has been turned over to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Coroner Office.