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Teen Rescued From Marin Co. Beach Still In Critical Condition

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Chopper 5 over a rescue at Tennessee Valley Beach in Marin County on July 13, 2011. Authorities say a 17-year-old girl was swept up in a rip current. (CBS)

Chopper 5 over a rescue at Tennessee Valley Beach in Marin County on July 13, 2011. Authorities say a 17-year-old girl was swept up in a rip current. (CBS)

MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) — A 17-year-old girl remained in critical condition Thursday after she was rescued along with two other teens from the waters near Tennessee Beach on Wednesday evening, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The teenager and three other friends were attempting to climb to Tennessee Cove around 5:45 p.m. when a large wave knocked three of them off a rock into the water, Golden Gate National Recreation Area spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said.

The 17-year-old was swept out the furthest and was struggling against a rip current when a Petaluma man in his 40s dived into the water to bring her closer to shore, Picavet said.

“Unfortunately, the good Samaritan needed our help since he was in a precarious place that was unsafe because of the currents and waves,” she said.

The Coast Guard sent a helicopter from Air Station San Francisco, which arrived within 20 minutes, along with a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Golden Gate.

A rescue swimmer was lowered from the helicopter to administer first aid to the girl. The Southern Marin Fire Protection District also assisted with the rescue.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter then transported the teen to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where she remains in critical condition as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Coast Guard Lt. Chris Hanzlick said.

The two other teenagers swept into the water, a boy and a girl, were also taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, Picavet said.

It appears the four teens, who range in age from 17 to 18 years old, were not trying to swim in the water, she said. The National Park Service lists Tennessee Beach as not suitable for swimming.

“If you try to cross through to the cove, you need to know what the tide is doing,” Picavet said. “It isn’t an easy place to get out of if tide comes up, not mention the danger of rogue waves.”

While the National Park Service applauds the efforts of the good Samaritan, Picavet warns beachgoers about his brave actions.

“It’s very dangerous, unless you’re trained,” she said. “He definitely helped this patient. We’re not encouraging people to do this, though.”

For beachgoers looking to get wet, Picavet recommends Stinson Beach, which is approved by the National Park Service for swimming and employs lifeguards.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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