Riptide kills 5-year-old, mom in Calif.
By Jaxon Van Derbeken
The San Francisco Chronicle
SAN FRANCISCO — A 5-year-old girl and her 40-year-old mother died after being swept away in a riptide off Montara State Beach in San Mateo County on Monday afternoon.
As many as 40 members of various rescue crews responded to the beach at 4:21 p.m. to the report of the victims being swept away in the surf.
The young girl was rescued from the water, and her mother ended up back on the beach, officials said. The two were transported to Stanford Hospital. The father of the child remained on land at the time of the rescue.
Cal Fire Division Chief Richard Sampson said the incident began with a family outing.
"We have what sounds like a family playing at the beach, Montara State Beach, when two were swept away," Sampson said.
The girl was rescued by the harbor patrol, then flown to Stanford Hospital in a Coast Guard helicopter.
"She had a pulse, but she was going in and out of consciousness," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Mooney with the U.S. Coast Guard.
The mother — who was unconscious and not breathing — was taken in another helicopter to be treated at the same hospital, Mooney said.
The Coast Guard reported later that it was notified the girl and mother had died.
"It was a very dynamic scene, a lot of people were trying to take care of the two victims," Sampson said.
Sampson said the 40 members of the various rescue teams went into a stress debriefing Monday night.
Mooney said witnesses said the mother and daughter were pulled out by a riptide.
"It was not a calm day at the beach — the surf was up fairly good," Sampson said.
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