Fifth person drowns trying to rescue a dog

January 28, 2013

beachA Northern California woman drowned over the weekend while trying to save her dog from strong ocean waves. [ABC]

The 32-year-old woman was overpowered by what has been dubbed a “sneaker wave” near Shelter Cove in Humboldt County, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Her boyfriend avoided being pulled out to sea by climbing on a rock.

Four other people have drowned in the area in the past few months while trying to save their dogs from the rough surf.

In November, a Northern California mother, father and their 16-year-old son all drowned while trying to save their dog from strong ocean waves. The dog managed to get out of the water on his own.

On New Year’s Day, a man drowned while trying to rescue his dog on the beach near Point Reyes in Marin County.


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Whenever I hear of one of these tragic drowning stories I’m reminded of the tragedy at Big Sur Beach. A Mother, daughter and grandchild were lost trying to save each other. A young boy was left alone on shore. He had to watch as his family drifted off out of view. Very sad. The sea is so unpredictable; Please be careful whether you have a dog with you or not.

A human life lost – sad. Five human lives lost while trying to save a canine family member’s life – very sad. Heartbreaking. But for god’s sake, why were the dog’s lives put in danger to begin with, and then had to be rescued? If you love your pets then show it, protect them, watch out for them, do not allow them into dangerous situations. You are their guardians, their family, and have the intellectual capacity to anticipate unsafe circumstances. Please protect and love your pets, and everyone stays safe.

Its sad that a life was lost BUT the dog always survives , most dogs are a lot stronger swimmers than a human in those condition also they don,t panic they just swim with the flow, there is a lesson to be learned here, sad but true

I have to agree that if the dog can’t get out of the surf, then in general, his human won’t be able to either.

Consider the endurance of a dog as compared to his human. I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve never been able to keep up running next to a dog or chase him and actually catch him unless he wanted to let me catch him. So unless you have an advantage such as some extra gear or a prop of some sort or are able to outrun your dog, then your dog is better equipped to save himself than you are. That isn’t to say that I can’t relate to the love that drives our knee jerk reactions where saving our pets is concerned. My condolences.

Absolutely heartbreaking. Another lesson in how much we love these family members.

I hope the slo city council is reading this, as well as the BIA and other entities who have sharply narrowed when, where and how we can be with our ‘loved ones’.

“I hope the slo city council is reading this, as well as the BIA and other entities who have sharply narrowed when, where and how we can be with our ‘loved ones’.”…….. I actually hope they don’t, they may be your ,” loved one” but they don’t always treat strangers in the same way they treat you, and I like being able to shop without the possibility of being attacked by someone’s “loved one”.

Definitely another sad owner / dog story!

I totally agree with kayaknut. I too love animals but they belong home or to be taken out to dog parks or other acceptable areas. When on the beach I don’t want your dog running up to me, jumping all over me or shaking his coat on me, the same as having a little person coming up to me with sticky little fingers or screaming, crying or yelling in a public place.

You are referring to those with bad manners, a reflection of the incompetence of the human involved. I agree with you on that, but what about all the lovely well mannered ones that bring joy to all they encounter. Some people are a pain as well, shall all people be banned from the public square, or be put on leashes?

I say educate the public and then perhaps impose severe penalty for anyone (dogs, people) that misbehave. Just outlawing certain elements is not fair and probably not even constitutional (prior restraint- denying an activity because it ‘may’ result in unlawful activity.

I know plenty of incredible dog lovers who do not teach their wards any manners; so loving dogs does not result in responsible stewardship. But those who do mindfully take this on and have marvelous dogs should be encouraged to have them in society with the rest of us. Just look at the eyes of kids and dog lovers light up at the sight of a nice dog, that is denied by ‘prior restraint’.

Some people should be put on leashes, at a minimum.

Interesting sidenote: My father was in a long term care facility…a debilitating stroke. The first eight years they had an administrator that allowed and encouraged “pet therapy”, during certain hours of the day, every day.Well mannered and cared for pets, mainly canines. You should have seen how some of the practically catatonic ‘residents’ would come to life when the furry friends arrived.

Alas, the ‘good’ administrator left for another position, and some by-the-book soulless functionary took over, and the pet therapy ended.

Average life for people during their end of life stay was effectively cut in half.