[UPDATE] Man Swept To Sea: Two Eerie Stories Happen On The Same Day

By IScience Times Staff Reporter on January 2, 2013 2:17 PM EST

Could rescue workers have done more to save a man swept to sea on a California beach?
Could rescue workers have done more to save a man swept to sea on a California beach? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A man was swept to sea on Tuesday afternoon after he valiantly tried to save his dog from a massive wave.

The walk on the beach started like any other walk. Charles Quaid, 59, and his wife were taking a calm stroll with their dog around 12:30 p.m. on Point Reyes National Seashore. But suddenly a rogue wave threatened to sweep up the dog. So the couple started to walk into the water to rescue the dog. Without warning, an onslaught of water known as a "sneaker wave" grabbed Quaid and carried him out to sea. Quaid's wife was rescued by people walking on the beach and survived without injuries.

Like Us on Facebook

For hours, California Highway Patrol and Coast Guard helicopters and fire crews desperately searched for Quaid, but to no avail. When they finally located his body at 4 p.m. he was pronounced dead.

It is unclear how large and forceful the wave was. But, in general, swimmers and surfers are often warned about breaking waves. Waves can break in different ways. Three common breaking waves are mushy rollers, hollow plungers and surging waves. Mushy rollers are considered less dangerous because they break softly and gradually. Hollow plungers are known to be far more dangerous because they break violently, surging upwards in a high vertical motion. A surging wave moves in a horizontal trajectory. This type of wave is particularly treacherous for pedestrians like the Quaids because it can project outwards.

Making Charles Quaid's death even more eerie is the fact that a similar story occurred in England on the same day. Paul Morris, 41, from South Shore in Blackpool was also walking his dog near a pier when a wave swept him and his friend out to sea. Morris' friend was able to emerge from the water. But Morris couldn't escape.

"Paul is a hardworking man who enjoys spending time with friends and loves his family dearly. He's only recently moved back to Blackpool and we're obviously shocked by what has happened and it's a difficult time for us all, particularly as Paul can't swim and we fear the worst," a statement from his family read.

"We're now just waiting for that fateful call to say that he's been found so we can have some closure. We'd like to thank all the emergency services for their efforts in trying to find and rescue Paul."

In California, Marin County Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Giannini cautioned others about the dangers of walking into choppy waters. "This is an example of the long-standing adage, 'Never turn your back on the ocean,'" Giannini said. "You don't necessarily know what the size of a wave will be at any time. We presume them all to be more or less the same, but there are times when large waves will come up on the shoreline and take people by surprise."

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Sponsored From Around the Web

    ZergNet
Follow iScience Times
us on facebook RSS
 
us on google
 
Most Popular
INSIDE iScience Times
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
Do Dolphins Get High? BBC Cameras Catch Dolphins Chewing On Pufferfish Toxins
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
How Many Ways Can You Tie A Tie?
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
Ribbon Of Charged Particles At Solar System's Edge Acts Like A Wind Sock For Interstellar Magnetism
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet  Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
How to Turn Your Tap Water Faucet Into a Coffee Spout [VIDEO]
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
Coolest Science Photos Of 2013: From Blobfish To Two-Headed Shark, Comet ISON To Mars Selfie
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)
This Is A Scientifically-Proven Rock-Paper-Scissors Winning Strategy (But If Your Opponent Uses It Too, It's A Draw)