January 29, 2013

"A woman was swept out to sea by a large wave and drowned on a Northern California beach Sunday in the third such tragedy in the region this winter..."

"The 32-year-old woman was walking on a beach near Shelter Cove in Humboldt County with her boyfriend and dog when the wave pulled her out to sea...."
"Winter is an especially dangerous time (on beaches in Northern California), and sneaker waves can catch beach goers by surprise, washing them into the sea," the Coast Guard said in a statement. "People walking along the beach should not turn their back to the ocean."

47 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Mother Nature is cruel.

Patrick said...

That ocean is a hell of a thing. Can't ever forget that.

traditionalguy said...

Sneaker waves are sneaking up right now. Mandatory life vests must be mandated and beach goers must be licensed after mandatory beach survival training conducted by retired Navy Seals.

This horrendous slaughter of beach walkers must be stopped by the Government.

chickelit said...

Was she a grower? It could have been Gaia's revenge for overusing coal-fired grow lights.

Leland said...

Ah yes, the sneaky wave outwitted the NoCal woman. Who could have saw that coming?

Jon K said...

Very sad. But according to the article, four of the five people who died or who are missing were trying to rescue their dogs from the surf. A sneaker wave seems to have been directly involved in only one of these tragedies.

So instead of "People walking along the beach should not turn their back on the ocean", perhaps the advice should be:

“People should think twice before entering rock-lined, 40 degree Pacific Ocean riptides to save their pets”.

Surfed said...

After 50 years of surfing and sailing I can attest to the dangers of the ocean. There have been times where I have paddled my surfboard around for hours in sheer terror trying to find a way back to the beach/shore. Praying to whatever gods that inhabited heaven to please allow me to see my loved ones one more time. How many times that I have knelt on the shore and thanked Providence in heaven for sparing my sorry silly ass for even thinking I could ride the huge waves from whatever hurricane that was out there. If there's anything I've learned it's this. Never. Ever. Turn. Your. Back. On. The. Ocean. EVER. Even just walking along the edge of it.

Strelnikov said...

That's problem with oceans: You have to watch them constantly. Seas, not so much.

EMD said...

Sneaker waves!

by Skechers!

AllenS said...

When you step into the ocean, you immediately go to the bottom of the food chain.

Emil Blatz said...

Is the dog OK?

gerry said...

We should register all waves to reduce wave violence.

Mitchell the Bat said...

A sacrifice to Proteus ought to solve the problem.

lemondog said...

How 'bout some Australia Sea Foam

Surfed said...

Didn't mean to get all melodramatic on everybody. It's just that I've saved my share of people from death in the ocean, not counting myself. Had people save me. Had people stay with me out there when I was hurt and knew I was a goner...Shoot, I can't even apologize for the melodrama without lapsing back into it again. Probably should just shut up and stop typing.

ndspinelli said...

Surfed, Good and didactic rant.

Craig said...

Spanish Head

Warmed by a driftwood fire
Found unattended on the beach
We watched in silence
A dark brooding thundercloud
Rise from our horizon,
Blotting stars to gather light,
Diffused in the pale pulse
Of each successive flash,
Rumble drowned by crashing breakers.

We walked along the shore,
Our eyes alert,
Squinting in the wind for drifting logs,
Tumbling in the surf,
To pitch heavily
Out of the darkness
Onto the sand
With the last casual flick
Of a wave.

We reached the point,
Our darkness broken
By amber floodlights in the distance,
Illuminating the grim, twentieth century
Spectre of Spanish Head, and we stopped
As softly the rain began to fall.

We had time to trace our steps
Back to my sister's cottage
Before the rain, thunder and lightning
Hammered all at once upon the roof.

We told her how we had reached the point
And knew the time for turning back;
At our feet their lay a heifer
Newly washed upon the beach.

Never, she had warned us,
Turn your back upon the ocean.

1984
Yours Truly

This was my first attempt to write blank verse. It was for a beginning verse writing course. I wrote it on Easter and read it aloud at Castalia at the end of May. Spanish Head is a highrise, oceanside resort on the Oregon coast near Lincoln City.

Craig said...

There, not their.
Humble apologies.

Paul said...

Just another Darwin Award.

After all the tsunami you hear about one would THINK people would respect what waves can do.

William said...

@surfed: Have you ever thought of buying a skateboard or inline skates. They say a profound fear is another way of phrasing a profound wish, and some people are not so much flirting with death as having an affair with it.

edutcher said...

The Pacific Ocean is anything but. There a a number of blow holes in HI that claim a few lives every year.

PS Surfed, don't sweat it. Coming that close to shaking hands with the Grim Reaper always stays with you.

Craig said...

I was windsurfing near Palawan in what seemed like a well protected lagoon on the morning of Boxer Day in 2004, more than a thousand miles from Aceh. I had to crash my board into a small island to break out of a current that might otherwise have swept me around the cove and out into the Sulu Sea.

Fritz said...

I almost drowned at Shelter Cove once. A snorkeling trip gone wrong. I ended up climbing a rock wall using seaweed to hold onto.

Paul said...

After walking out on a rocky spit near Carmel I stood on higher ground and watched a big wave engulf the same spot where I had been standing moments before. Had the timing been against me I would have been battered and shredded on the sharp edges of the rocks before I had a chance to drown.

Broomhandle said...

Crap. I spent many a late spring afternoon drinking beer and chilling with friends at Shelter Cove.Bizarre to think of the ocean snatching someone off the beach there.

Morkoth said...

We must ACT!!! If even one life can be saved, we must ban swimming in the ocean!!!

The Gold Digger said...

That happens on Lake Michigan, as well, apparently with people who were just minding their own business.

Well, looking for fishing gear. But I consider that their own business. They weren't in the water.

BarrySanders20 said...

And the dogs almost always survive.

Silly foolish humans.

David-2 said...

lemondog: If you're going to travel the seafoam, the safest way is by car. This might also work for sneaker waves.

Aridog said...

AllenS said...

When you step into the ocean, you immediately go to the bottom of the food chain.

Indeed. There IS a reason God created fresh water lakes and swimming pools.

Chip S. said...

Travolti da un insolito destino nell'azzurro mare di gennaio

Scott M said...

What's not mentioned is that the couple was having a spat. She was lamenting the fact that the romance seemed to have gone out of their relationship, that the passion had sputtered and died.

"Jim, I want us to find that spark again," she said.
"What do you want me to do?" he asked, exasperated.
"I don't know!" she exclaimed, "I want to be swept off my feet."

viator said...

Along the coast of Maine they call the "combers" as in you get combed. They are reluctant to attempt a futile rescue of any fool who puts themselves in the way of them further endangering lives. Combers occur irregularly and with little warning.

comber
(1) A deepwater wave whose crest is pushed forward by a strong wind; much larger than a whitecap. (2) A long-period BREAKER.

Oso Negro said...

The beach is the edge of the wilderness.

Crunchy Frog said...

Spanish Head

I got that once. Very nice.

Icepick said...

I blame global warming. And Newton (Sir Isaac). And the Moon. Blow up the moon, and prevent this kind of thing from happening again.

Crunchy Frog said...

I wrote a short story about a guy who goes swimming in the Pacific at midnight, after a pretty rough week...

I was rather depressed at the time.

traditionalguy said...

Our first trip to Carmel we loved walking the beach. They even had a place on the beach to sit which was a two foot drop off line along the beach about 30 yards from the surf.

So we sat down and started talking with our backs towards the sea.

Suddenly we were hit with a sneaker of a wave that drenched us from the bottom up all the way up our noses.

That wave must have been what had made the drop off line we sat on.

We had to walk back up the Ocean Avenue hill with sand in our clothes etc.

But it is remembered as the funniest thing that happened to us in a long time.

LilyBart said...

It's caused by global warming.....er, climate change. All we need to do is give our money and power to national and global governing bodies and we can all, finally be safe. Duh.

EMD said...

What's not mentioned is that the couple was having a spat. She was lamenting the fact that the romance seemed to have gone out of their relationship, that the passion had sputtered and died.

"Jim, I want us to find that spark again," she said.
"What do you want me to do?" he asked, exasperated.
"I don't know!" she exclaimed, "I want to be swept off my feet."


Long walk for a shit sandwich. Sorry.

Methadras said...

Dear God. We must ban waves. All of them. NOW!!!

Scott M said...

Long walk for a shit sandwich. Sorry.

And yet you felt compelled to comment on it.

Firehand said...

Base lesson: Ma Nature has no concern for you. And will turn you into food and then fertilizer at any opportunity.

Chip S. said...

ScottM, this blog def. needs a "thumbs-up" feature.

You'd have gotten one from me for your 11:46.

SCOTTtheBADGER said...

The sea is called cruel for a reason.

Michael McNeil said...

Indeed. There IS a reason God created fresh water lakes and swimming pools.

Paleo-geological investigations reveal that quiet, inland lakes occasionally suffer enormous tsunamis, sometimes hundreds of feet in height (!) — as a result of large landslides occurring at just the wrong spot. (As a person who nearly died as a child along with my family in a great — 80 million ton — landslide near Yellowstone Park, this particularly resonates with me.)

Also, however, satellite photographs have revealed that out to sea there actually exist occasional enormous waves (of the kind imagined in the film the Poseidon Adventure) — not tsunamis, tsunamis far from land are barely apparent; but rather, stupendous storm waves… — which are now thought to be responsible for instances where ships occasionally just outright disappear without trace.

Rusty said...

Ya fuck around, yer gonna get hurt.
Let the fat, slow witted guy at the bar go ice fishing first.
Never be the only human on an island full of bears.
Never wear camo during dear rifle season.
Never rapel with rope you bought at the hardware store.
And remember;
In the forrest you're prey. In the ocean you're bait. And in the desert you're carrion.
Now go outside and have fun.