Natalie Wood Could Have Been Saved, Says Lifeguard

When Captain Roger Smith pulled Natalie Wood’s body from the water on Nov. 29, 1981, he couldn’t understand why she had drowned. Smith says that Wood was probably alive for hours after she fell into the waters off Catalina Island and it doesn’t make sense that she wasn’t saved.

Smith said:

“Based on the condition of her body when we pulled her from the water, I believe she survived for sometime in the water and was blown out to sea. She probably cried for help for hours. I’ve always believed she could have been saved. Her fingers were still pliable when she was pulled from the water, suggesting she had not been dead for hours.”

The LA Times reports that Smith, a former Los Angeles County supervising rescue boat captain, has many questions about Natalie Wood’s death. According to Smith, his crew wasn’t alerted about that Wood was missing until four hours after her disappearance.

Smith’s theory is consistent with another Natalie Wood witness. A woman on a nearby boat says that she heard a woman screaming for help on the night of Wood’s disappearance. The woman said that after Wood’s death she received a threatening note telling her to be quiet about what she had heard.

Both the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office and sheriff’s department ruled Natalie Wood’s death an accident at the time. The case was re-opened last week.

Wood was sailing with her husband, Robert Wagner, her co-star at the time, Christopher Walken, and boat captain Dennis Davern on Nov. 28, 1981. For the last 30 years people have believed that Wood accidentally fell of the yacht late at night when the rest of the part was sleeping. But Davern, who released a book last year, says that Wood’s death was not an accident.

Davern said:

“I just didn’t want my whole life to go by without having the truth come out.”

Do you think there was foul play in the death of Natalie Wood?