POINT REYES, Calif. -- A man was swept to sea and drowned while trying to save his dog hit by a rogue wave on a Northern California beach.
The Coast Guard says the man and his wife were walking on the beach near Point Reyes on New Year’s Day when a wave overtook the dog. Point Reyes is a popular tourist destination about 30 miles northwest of San Francisco.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the couple went into the water to rescue the dog but the man was swept away.
Two Coast Guard boats and two helicopters located the man’s body in the water after a nearly three hour search, CBS San Francisco reports.
The wife and dog made it safely to shore.
Names haven’t been released.
According to CBS San Francisco, witnesses from a nearby location called North Beach described giant waves of 20 feet or more from the high tide at this narrow beach. One of the witnesses told the Marin County Sheriff that he helped in rescue efforts.
CBS San Francisco reports the man said he saw a woman walking a dog and that the dog went into the surf in a dangerous area with heavy undertows. The woman dressed in a heavy winter coat was also knocked down in the surf. That’s when the rescuer went into the water up to his knees and grabbed the woman.
The woman was completely soaked and couldn’t get up from her back. He and another man held on to the woman, CBS San Francisco reports. Then the woman’s husband came and tried to get the dog, but he was knocked over by a wave from behind and the witness said he was carried out to sea immediately.
In November, three people drowned in roiling surf while trying to save their dog at Big Lagoon state beach near Arcata.