Sheriff deputy rescues woman trapped underwater

August 23, 2015
Lopez lake

Lopez lake

A San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputy rescued a 50-year-old Santa Maria woman Saturday who was trapped under a capsized watercraft at Lopez lake, according to a sheriff’s department press release.

Shortly after 1 p.m., deputy Matthew Shields and a park ranger were patrolling Lopez lake when several people near a capsized watercraft told them a woman was trapped underwater. Shields immediately took off his gun belt, jumped into the lake and attempted to turn over the watercraft, but to no avail.

Shields then swam under the vessel to find the victim. After several attempts, he located the woman and discovered her life vest was caught on something under the water, most likely the handlebars of the overturned watercraft.

Those involved in the rescue estimate the woman was underwater between 90 seconds and three minutes.

Emergency personnel transported the woman to a local hospital where she is expected to survive her ordeal.

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18 Comments

  1. The Daily says:

    No, Ted, the ranger on the boat stayed on the boat to keep it close because it’s where they placed the lady for emergency care and transport. And Ted, you not “knowing the MO” has never interfered with your sharing on here. By the by, I don’t take you for a “van down by the river” type of fella, I’m thinking you’re more the “on the computer only in your underwear in your moms basement” type.

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  2. 65buick says:

    I don’t get what all this cynicism is about. A person’s life was saved. That is a GOOD thing.

    But it seems a whole bunch of people just want to make nasty comments about something.

    (11) 11 Total Votes - 11 up - 0 down
  3. Rawhide says:

    CORRECTION:
    “One” Officer would have to stay in the boat for safety reasons and to keep the boat from blowing away in the wind.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  4. Rawhide says:

    This article makes NO mention whether the Officers were in a boat or driving a vehicle…
    So an assumption can be make either way.

    But, if they were in a boat “ONE” Officer would have to stay in the boat for safety reasons and to keep the boat from blowing away from in the wind.
    Lopez usually has strong winds that blow across the lake.
    It seems there was NO time to put the anchor down…!

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  5. mkaney says:

    “several people near a capsized watercraft told them a woman was trapped underwater.” You’d think that the very first couple of people to see her go down would have dove in and tried to save her. Have we really reached a point where we have to wait for a government employee to do something?

    (6) 12 Total Votes - 9 up - 3 down
  6. Jon Tatro says:

    Uh Ted Slenders have you ever tried to swim with a 25lb anchor around your waist, of course you haven’t because your only skill set is criticism of people who are actually doing something with their lives while you hide behind your false persona. Well done Deputy.

    (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
  7. Ted Slanders says:

    “Sheilds immediately took off his gun belt, jumped into the lake and attempted to turn over the watercraft, but to no avail.”

    Uh, who took care or watched after his gun belt that was left behind? Any kids around? Wouldn’t it have been better to jump in with gun belt attached to error on the side of caution?

    In any event, great save, and thank the Hebrew God of Christianity that nothing happened regarding a loaded gun left upon the shore.

    (-54) 62 Total Votes - 4 up - 58 down
    • slowtime says:

      Ted says; “Uh, who took care or watched after his gun belt that was left behind? Any kids around? Wouldn’t it have been better to jump in with gun belt attached to error on the side of caution?”
      —————————————————————-
      Uh….the Ranger perhaps?

      (23) 23 Total Votes - 23 up - 0 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        slowtime,

        Uh, the “Ranger” should have leaped in the water himself to double the chances of saving the women in question. My burden has always been, that I can’t be everywhere.

        (-22) 26 Total Votes - 2 up - 24 down
        • justbeware says:

          Thank goodness.

          (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down
          • CentralcoastRN says:

            You should have just asked Jesus to part the water so everyone could have walked on out of there. Just sayin’.

            (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
    • The Daily says:

      The article says “they were “patrolling Lopez Lake” is your thinking they simply stroll along the shore you referenced a gun being left upon while they keep an alert eye about? They were on a boat, he left his gun belt on the boat, other guy stayed on the boat. Also, while you don’t float with the gun belt on, you also can’t get under the watercraft with your life vest on so he probably took that off too. And as you don’t swim well either with full clothes on, shoes and all, he truly put his life on the line, strong work here.

      (15) 19 Total Votes - 17 up - 2 down
      • Ted Slanders says:

        Daily,

        So, what you’re alluding too is the Ranger that remained behind “in a boat” either couldn’t swim, or he was too chicken to jump in the water with the deputy to save the woman in a more efficient and expediant way? In an emergency situation, two performing a saving act is always better than one, especially if complications present themselves, as they did in this situation.

        Anyway, when I saw the word “patrolling,”, I thought they drove around in a vehicle or walked upon the shore.

        Never been out to Lopez lake and don’t know the MO out there because that is too far for my Salvation Bus to drive. It basically stays camped down by the river.

        (-17) 21 Total Votes - 2 up - 19 down
        • Paso_Guy says:

          Lol, you got your bus at the salvage yard?

          (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      Ted so if your wife or kid was in that situation or better yet YOU, do you want the cop to go through all gun potential problems of said gun left behind and or wait till someone can come and babysit said gun or have them save your sorry butt???

      In case you are to obtuse to understand, you have MERE minutes in these cases before brain damage could set in. Hmm have you drowned before?

      Great job by all in saving a life.

      (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
  8. slowtime says:

    Kudos Deputy Shields! It is refreshing to read positive stories about the work our Law enforcement does.

    (46) 46 Total Votes - 46 up - 0 down
  9. KimNorth says:

    Great job deputy Shields!

    (57) 57 Total Votes - 57 up - 0 down

Comments are closed.