Rescued windsurfer spent more than 10 hours in Bay waters 

A search lasting more than 10 hours ended this morning after the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a Los Altos woman who disappeared after windsurfing near Coyote Point in the San Francisco Bay on Monday evening, a petty officer said.

A helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer into waters close to the center span just north of the San Mateo Bridge after the Coast Guard found 62-year-old Cathy Caton in stable condition just after 6 a.m., Petty Officer Emily Wilhite said.

Caton, who was an expert windsurfer with more than 20 years of experience, left her husband on the shores along East Third Avenue in Foster City on her windsurfing board and planned to return around 5:30 p.m., Coast Guard Sector San Francisco senior chief Douglas Samp said.

When Caton did not come back, her husband grew worried and called 911, Samp said. The Coast Guard was notified of Caton’s disappearance at about 7:20 p.m.

Despite Caton’s experience, her husband told the Coast Guard he was nervous she might be weak because she was undergoing chemotherapy treatment, Wilhite said.

It is unclear if Caton suffered any injuries, but the Coast Guard said she is in stable condition and would be taken to the hospital for further evaluation.  

Boats and helicopters scanned the water for more than 10 hours, most of which in the dark, in the area where Caton was last seen. The Coast Guard also launched a shoreline search from San Francisco’s Hunters Point neighborhood to the San Mateo Bridge, Samp said.

The Alameda County Fire Department and the San Francisco Fire Department Airport Division also provided assistance with the search efforts.

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