Pacifica police warn beachgoers to be wary of surf after woman drowns 

The Pacifica Police Department on Monday warned beachgoers to be wary of powerful ocean currents after a woman was pulled underwater and drowned Sunday at Sharp Park Beach while trying to rescue her dog.

“Even if the water’s calm, it’s deceptive,” Pacifica police Capt. Dave Bertini said. “The currents and tides of the Pacific Ocean are really strong.”

San Carlos resident Grelia Smith, 44, drowned Sunday afternoon when she entered the waters off Sharp Park Beach after following one of her dogs into the ocean, according to police.

She was knocked down by a large wave and swept away from the beach. Family members and witnesses weren’t able to reach her in the heavy surf.

Emergency personnel responded and pulled her from the waters, police said. She was taken to Seton Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Smith’s drowning happened in the same area where a 44-year-old man is presumed to have drowned less than two weeks ago.

On March 18, Richard Serrano Jr. entered the waters off Sharp Park Beach and was knocked down by several waves. He never resurfaced and his body has not been found.

Bertini said there are no lifeguards at the beach, but that signs are posted along the beach promenade warning of the dangerous surf.

“Unless you are a good swimmer, you should stay out of the water,” he said. “Even if your dog goes in, let it swim back. Dogs are better swimmers than people.”

 

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