SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Crews with the San Francisco Fire Department cleared the scene of a rescue attempt near Baker Beach Monday night, however, the U.S. Coast Guard continue to search for a man who got swept into the ocean, according to a fire spokesman.
Lt. Jonathan Baxter said the rescue search will “most likely become a body recovery” at this point.
Rescue crews initially responded to the area, near Helmet Rock, at 6:50 p.m. for a report of a person screaming for help, according to Baxter.
At the scene, crews found a 22-year-old man below the cliff who had to be rescued with a rope.
The man was uninjured. He said he was attempting to help another man who was stuck at rocks below the cliff, Baxter said.
Crews then spotted that victim, who appeared to be unconscious and not breathing, but due to a strong surf and strong undertow conditions, rescue boats and rescue swimmers were unable to reach him.
Although crews aggressively tried to reach the unconscious victim, at about 7:50 p.m., he became submerged in the water and crews lost sight of him.
The two victims did not appear to know each other, according to Baxter.
According to tide patterns, bodies normally take about two weeks to emerge from the ocean, if at all, Baxter said.
The fire department is reminding visitors to stay off the rocks below cliffs and to never turn their back to the beach, as large, strong tides can come in within a matter of minutes.
The Coast Guard suspended their search late Monday night.
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