'Sneaker' Wave Sweeps 4-Year-Old Off Beach

Luckily, an anonymous rescuer dove into the waters near Calif.'s Clam Beach to save little Aeris
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2020 9:55 AM CST
A Wave Carried Away a Girl. A Stranger 'Brought Her Back'
Sincee George says her daughter would've died if a stranger hadn't intervened.   (Getty Images/Anna Pismenskova)

In the shock of having witnessed the near-death of her daughter, Sincee George forgot to ask the name of the man who saved her. Now she's reaching out with thanks courtesy of the Lost Coast Outpost, which reports the Nov. 25 rescue came at the scariest moment of George's life. She and her husband had been playing with their three children in the sand near California's Clam Beach, not far from their home in McKinleyville, when a "sneaker" wave struck, knocking down 4-year-old Aeris and her 7-year-old brother. With her husband cradling their 16-month-old in his arms, George grabbed for both children but could only reach her son, who began coughing up water. Aeris "was like 50 feet out in a matter of seconds," she tells the Outpost. "I thought my daughter was gone." Just then, a stranger sprinted past George into the water.

"I didn't see what happened. I just saw that he brought her back to me," George says. "I feel like God put him in the right place at the right time to save us." But "it all happened so fast, I didn't even think to ask his name." George says she reached out to the Outpost hoping the man and a woman he was with will hear the story and understand how grateful she is. Seeing that the whole family was soaking wet, the woman had wrapped her scarf around George's son and placed her hat on the youngest child, George says. "We just wanted to sincerely thank you and may God bless you," she adds. Sneaker waves, or large waves that appear without warning, can be incredibly dangerous. As the Press Democrat reports, just a day after the rescue, a 4-year-old girl died when she was pulled out to sea at a beach to the south, closer to San Francisco. (More rescue stories.)

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