San Diego

Medical Examiner Identifies Woman Fatally Swept Off by Waves in Ocean Beach

The woman was one of two who were swept off the rocks near Sunset Cliffs Saturday evening.

A woman who died after a strenuous search and rescue operation in the rough water off Sunset Cliffs was identified Monday, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.

Adriana Toro, a 23-year-old woman, was staying with friends in an apartment in San Diego, confirmed the Medical Examiner. On Saturday, Toro was walking along the rocks with a friend when they were carried off by a wave at Santa Cruz Avenue and Bacon Street - near San Diego's iconic Sunset Cliffs.

It happened Saturday evening just after 5 p.m., when police were quickly alerted. Lifeguards were sent to the scene and managed to pull the unconscious woman from the water after a prolonged and challenging search effort.

She was taken to a local hospital on advanced cardiac life support, according to the Medical Examiner. Despite efforts to resuscitate Toro, she soon died.

A witness - who saved one of Toro's friends - said the women were taking photos of the view along Ambrosioni. In a matter of seconds, he said, "they went out right over there, right off the edge." 

The man, who lifeguards are calling a hero, jumped in and saved one of the women swept away by waves. When he tried to go back and save the second, the woman had already been taken by the current. 

“I ran back and forth and when she got close enough and I went out and I picked her up," he said. The man wanted only to be identified as Struble.

One woman was taken to a nearby hospital, but the second woman continued to get lost in the foam.

“I tried to go back for the second one, but I couldn’t get there in time because the waves just got too big and she got too far out,” the Good Samaritan said. 

Lifeguards searched through thick ocean foam for nearly 40 minutes looking for the woman who was swept off shore. Lieutenant Rick Romero explained it was difficult to spot the second woman caught in the current.

“We did see her, but in the amount of the time, the surge was coming in and out she’d appear and then disappear in the foam,” said Lt. Romero.

Lifeguards said the water was 58 degrees with waves up to 15 feet high. On top, the ocean water had two feet of foam. 

The woman was pulled out of the water unconscious Saturday evening. She was taken to the hospital and later succumbed to her injuries, lifeguards said. 

During the incident, two lifeguards were also taken to a hospital, as a precautionary measure. 

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