Bodyboarder rescued at Stinson

02/07/2013

A 32-year-old bodyboarder is breathing on his own after nearly drowning Saturday night at Stinson Beach, according National Parks Service spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet. Daniel Beckman was unconscious when he was pulled out of shallow water by a group of people who were at the scene. The group notified park rangers on patrol, who found the man not breathing and without a pulse. A park ranger continued to perform CPR on Mr. Beckman “for several minutes” before a defibrillator was located and he was taken by helicopter to San Pablo. He remained in critical condition and on breathing support until early this week. Ms. Picavet said he is now conscious and breathing on his own, and a hospital spokeswoman said he was in fair condition. The Stinson Beach accident comes during what has proven to be a deadly winter on the Northern California coast. In Humboldt, Sonoma, Marin and San Francisco counties—and at the coast in Shelter Cove, Dillon Beach and Point Reyes—pet owners, surfers and fishers ages 9 to 59 found themselves swept to sea by so-called “sneaker” waves. There have been five deaths and three incidents involving someone on the beach with their dog since November, according to Ms. Picavet. This figure includes Charles Quaid, who died New Year’s Day while trying to rescue his wife and dog from a sneaker wave at Point Reyes National Seashore. Speakers advised dog owners should not try to rescue dogs that go over cliffs or get swept into sea. Ms. Picavet said sneaker waves are much more likely to occur in winter, though rip currents are dangerous at all times. Most importantly, people should not “underestimate the power of the ocean” or “overestimate your own abilities.” “It really doesn’t take a large wave to knock down an adult.”