Point Reyes, CA — Authorities say a California man died New Year’s Day after he attempted to save his dog from being carried out to sea.
According to NBC San Diego, the 59-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, was walking his dog with his wife along the coast near the Point Reyes National Seashore park in Northern California around 12:30 pm when a large wave swept the group into the ocean.
Though his wife was able to make it back to shore safely, reports say the man drowned in the rough seas during his attempt to save the dog. A person at a nearby beach said waves were reaching 20 feet in height at the time of the incident.
“This is an example of the longstanding adage, ‘Never turn your back on the ocean,’ ” said Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Giannini, describing the unusually large wave that swept the couple into the water as a “sneaker wave.”
The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from its San Francisco air station and a 47-foot life boat from Bodega Bay and found the man’s body around 4 pm.
Coast Guard spokesman Mark Leahey said the man was brought back to shore and pronounced dead.
The body was to be taken to the Coast Guard facility at Bodega Bay and the Sonoma County Coroner’s office will conduct an investigation and release the man’s identity, Leahey added.
NBC Has more on the Point Reyes drowning in the video below:
The Marin Independent Journal noted that the tragic California drowning was the second in the past week.
Just four days ago, a 9-year-old boy was swept into the bay while fishing with his father. The father died trying to save his son.