San Diego

Woman Rescued After Long, Strenuous Search off Sunset Cliffs Dies: Lifeguards

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

A woman rescued after a long search in the rough water off Sunset Cliffs has died, San Diego Lifeguards told NBC 7 San Diego Sunday. 

The two women were swept off the rocks at Santa Cruz Avenue and Bacon Street - near San Diego's iconic Sunset Cliffs - Saturday evening just after 5 p.m. 

A witness - who later saved one of the women - 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." 

A man, who lifeguards are calling a hero, jumped in and saved one woman. 

When he tried to go back and save the second, the woman had 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 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, who has only been identified as a 23-year-old 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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