Selasa, 08 Desember 2020

Search underway for missing person swept out to sea in Pacifica - San Francisco Chronicle

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First responders searched the rough waters off the coast of Pacifica Tuesday after a man was swept into a rip current by a powerful wave.

The Pacifica Fire Department was called to Beach Boulevard near the Pacifica Municipal Pier at 7:43 a.m. to rescue an unidentified victim from the water. The male victim was last seen struggling to remain afloat before he was pulled under by the strong current.

The victim was still missing as of 10:30 a.m., said Jeff Huntze, the fire battalion chief overseeing the rescue efforts.

Pacifica fire crews were aided by the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched two boats and two helicopters to scan the waters for a body, Huntze said.

The rescue mission unfolded under perilous conditions, as massive waves battered the coast in the first big swell of the winter season. The National Weather Service issued a high surf warning — indicating extreme risk — to call attention to hazardous conditions. Meteorologists urged the public to avoid the coast.

Three hours after the rescue mission began Tuesday morning, battalion chief Huntze and his crew watched members of the Coast Guard patrol the water’s edge as waves up to 25 feet high crashed against the rocks.

“This general area is rocky and we are hoping to locate the person,” he said.

The San Francisco Fire Department was called to rescue a surfer who was reported missing early Monday evening near Ocean Beach and Ortega Stairwell. The surfer survived after what firefighters called a “self-rescue.”

The high surf warning for Bay Area waters lasts through 9 p.m.

NWS meteorologists cautioned residents to avoid the ocean’s “bone chilling waters” and noted that “cold water drownings” occur each year.

Nora Mishanec is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: nora.mishanec@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @NMishanec

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December 09, 2020 at 03:18AM
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Search underway for missing person swept out to sea in Pacifica - San Francisco Chronicle

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