Woman Drowned at Shelter Cove–Man Rescued
UPDATE: 3:15 P.M.: Details are still coming in. Cheryl Anthony, duty officer of the Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Dept. said that names could not be released at this point because of family members needing to be notified. According to Anthony, a man and a woman were walking along Little Black Sands Beach. Around 10 A.M., a wave that was much larger than the others swept the woman into the water. The man was able to avoid the worst of the water by clambering onto a rock at the base of a cliff. He kept going higher and higher. Anthony says that both the VFD and the Coast Guard originally thought they might also have to rescue him because the terrain was so treacherous but the man eventually managed to climb to the top and access a nearby home. Anthony said the man tried to stay as near the place the woman was swept into the water as possible so that rescuers might better be able to pinpoint her location.
Local rescuers hiked out to an outcropping of rock known locally as Whale’s Tail. From there they were able to see back towards shore and help pinpoint the male victim’s whereabouts. The Shelter Cove rescue boat and the Coast Guard worked together to find the woman. The waves, according to Anthony, were between 10 and 15 foot high. “The visibility was horrible,” Anthony explained. Several times searchers thought they had spotted the woman only to discover they had seen kelp instead.
“The Coast Guard helped a lot because they could see further,” Anthony said. Yesterday, the local rescue boat had practiced with the Coast Guard and they both worked together well, she explained. Nonetheless, the woman was not found until too late.
Earlier this week, sneaker wave warnings were issued for this weekend. There have been several tragic incidents on the North Coast so far this year. In fact, there was a fundraiser this weekend for the member of one family that lost three of its members in the waters north of Eureka last November.
Original Post below:
According to Cheryl Anthony, duty officer of the Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Dept., a woman was swept into the water and drowned near Shelter Cove at Little Black Sands around 10 A.M.
The Coast Guard and the Shelter Cove Rescue boat worked together and recovered the woman’s body. The man, a resident of the area, was located on a rock by spotters for the fire department. He had managed to climb up out of the reach of the waves and was trying to indicate where the woman could be found. According to Anthony, he did not know that the body had already been found when he was rescued. Currently the man is at the Shelter Cove Fire Dept.
Details are spotty at this time. We’ll be updating as information is released.