SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Fire Department pulled a man from the surf at Ocean Beach and rushed him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead Friday afternoon, according to officials.
The fire department put out a tweet around 12:30 p.m. saying authorities were performing CPR on the man, who had apparently been surfing when things went awry.
He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition a little after 1 p.m., according to the fire department.
There was no high surf advisory from the National Weather Service at that hour, but by all accounts, the surf was rough.
Surfers and rescuers say most try to avoid the southern end of Ocean Beach, toward Sloat Blvd. At low tide, the current pushes everything – and everyone down towards this end of the beach. This is where the unconscious surfer washed up.
“We had a patient that had no cardiac rhythm at all,” said San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Jonathan Baxter. And even though rescuers were able to restore a weak heartbeat, Lt. Baxter says were not optimistic.
A fellow surfer who jumped into action and administered CPR while waiting for emergency crews to arrive.
It appears the victim was surfing alone Friday, but local surfers say, you’re never really alone at Ocean Beach. “Everyone looks out for each other like you want somebody to look out for you,” said one unidentified surfer at the site today.
Baxter said that even experienced surfers need to be concerned about conditions at Ocean Beach. “If you’re a professional, seasoned surfer specific to Ocean Beach you know the dynamics that occur here,” said Baxter. “But we’re pulling those surfers out of the water now, based on the conditions that we’re having.”
Rescue workers note there are no lifeguard towers at Ocean Beach, partly because they would give people a false sense of security wading into these waters. The workers said rip currents at Ocean Beach are so strong, they can pull a grown man in ankle-deep water off his feet and out to sea.
It was not known how much experience the victim had surfing at Ocean Beach.
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