After a string of recent deaths, the Coast Guard is warning residents and visitors to Northern California’s coast not to try to rescue their dogs from the ocean.
Five people have drowned since November as they tried to save pets swept into the ocean by rogue waves.
Coast Guard, National Park and SPCA officials held a joint press conference Friday, aimed at spreading public awareness about water safety for pets and their owners.
Allison Lindquist, executive director of the East Bay SPCA, was among those advising pet owners not to go into rough ocean waters to save their dog.
“Dogs are naturally better swimmers because of their horizontal body mass,” Lindquist said. “They are built better for riding out the current.” She said the best thing to do is to follow the dog parallel to the shoreline and call its name.
“Just let the dog do its thing,” Lindquist said. “When the current subsides, the dog will swim back.”
Rogue or “sneaker” waves have claimed five lives in three separate incidents this winter, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
In each case, their dogs survived.
In November, a powerful surf swept a family dog out to sea at Big Lagoon Beach near Arcata in Humboldt County. The teenage son swam out to save the pet. Then the child’s mother and father noticed him struggling and swam out to save him. All three died. The dog made it back to shore.
On New Year’s Day, Charles Quaid, 59, of Richmond, died after attempting to rescue his wife and dog.
Last Sunday, Susan Kay Archer, 32, of Shelter Cove, was walking on Little Black Sand Beach with her boyfriend when she was swept out to sea with her dog and drowned. The dog made it back to shore.
Gabe Pulliam, a 13-year veteran of the Coast Guard and rescue swimmer, said most citizens they lack the equipment and training to rescue a dog from rough and frigid waters.
“People who walk their dogs on the beach and notice strong surf should stay above the line where the water laps up,” Pulliam said. “It’s fun to watch the waves roll in, but respect the ocean and never turn your back on it.”
Pulliam is featured in a handout about pets and ocean safety released by the Coast Guard.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 5th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, beaches, california, coast guard, dangers, deaths, dogs, national park service, northern california, ocean, pacific, pets, rescue, rogue waves, safety, sea, sneaker waves, spca, swept, trying, warning, waves
Charles Quaid, 59, was walking along the beach with his wife when a large wave swept his dog into the ocean.
Quaid’s wife was also swept into the ocean at one point, but she was rescued by bystanders, and the dog managed to get back to shore on its own.
Quaid’s body was recovered in the ocean four hours later, after a search by helicopters and rescue teams from the fire department, U.S. Coast Guard, and National Park Service, according to ABC.
Quaid, who lived in Richmond, was described by his co-workers at a health care consulting firm as “a wonderful man” who “believed very passionately in everyone’s right to have equal access to health care.”
“He had a sense of our appreciation for what we’re doing here,” David Lansky, chief executive officer of Pacific Business Group on Health, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “One of his employees said this morning that he’d never in 30 years had a boss who he’d respected as much … He was honest and earnest and had integrity first and foremost.”
Quaid’s wife and dog were not injured.
The rough surf off the northern California coast claimed three other lives in November when a teenager and his mother and father were swept out to sea trying to rescue their family dog near Big Lagoon. An older daughter and the family dog survived.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, california, care, charles quaid, consultant, death, dies, dog, drowns, golden, health, ocean, pets, point reyes, rescue, retriever, shore, waves
Mary Elena Scott, 57, and her husband Howard Kuljian, 54, died at Big Lagoon, according to the Eureka Times-Standard.
Their bodies were recovered Saturday.
The couple’s son, 16-year-old Arcata High School student Gregory “Geddie” Kuljian – who was the first to go into the water after the family saw their dog, Fran, struggling in the waves – is still missing.
Students at Arcata High School honored Gregory Kuljian and his family yesterday by starting a Facebook campaign for people to “Wear Green For Geddie.” Green was the student’s favorite color.
U.S. Coast Guard officials said the search for Gregory Kuljian was suspended Saturday due to the fog and cold water temperatures.
Witnesses say the family of four was walking along the beach. One of them threw a stick in the water and the dog chased it. Seeing the dog in trouble, Gregory Kuljian entered the water and was able to grab the dog’s collar, but it fell off and the Gregory got swept up in the waves. The father entered the water after him, and the mother followed. All were unable to make it back to shore, according to the coroner’s office.
The dog survived, later managing to get out of the water on its own.
(Photo: An Arcata High School student writes on a poster memorial for fellow student Gregory Kuljian; Arcata High School Pepperbox)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, arcata, arcata high school, beach, big lagoon, dog, dogs, drowned, drownings, eureka, Gregory Kuljian, Howard Kuljian, humboldt county, Mary Elena Scott, ocean, orick, pacific, pets, rescue, save, saving, swept, waves
Only once has Ace plunged into the surf with reckless abandon.
That was his first time. At a beach in Delaware, upon his first sighting of the Atlantic, he bolted out into the water, only to get hit face first with a giant wave that flipped him over. Ever since then, he has exercised caution, and only with encouragement from multiple people has it been possible to beckon him out any deeper than his knees.
Yesterday, though, as we continue to drag out our departure from Figure 8 Island in North Carolina, he ended up playing in the surf – and without seeming preoccupied about how big and scary the next wave might be. That was thanks to two dogs, a blue tennis ball and a girl named Georgia.
We’d stopped at the Winston house — the same family that provided a personalized watering station for Ace, complete with signage, over the weekend — to visit again with Mac, a golden retriever, and Jet, a black Lab.
Ace had seemed only mildly interested in the dogs on our earlier visit, partly because he was worn out, partly because that’s the way he is. While he immediately warms up to people, it takes him a while with dogs. (I’m the opposite). He’s nice enough upon meeting another dog, but it usually takes him 15 minutes or so of sniffing and acting aloof and reserved — especially with other big dogs — before he’ll even consider playing.
But getting together with Mac and Jet, and realizing there was no shade he could lay low in, he participated in some canine frolicking, all instigated by 8-year-old Georgia.
She’s a take charge sort, but not in a bossy way.
Georgia told me she plans to become an animal doctor. (That was her term, and a much more manageable one than “veterinarian.”) And she did seem to have a way with dogs — not just her own, Jet, but her aunt’s dog, Mac, and even Ace.
On the beach, she seemed a master choreographer, leading them in their antics, and she offered to throw the tennis ball I’d brought along, assuming Jet and Mac would chase it even though Ace wasn’t likely to.
At one point, I stood in the ocean with my camera and asked her to throw the ball over my head, so I could take pictures of Jet and Mac charging through the waves to get it. Surprisingly, a couple of times, Ace showed up in the frame, apparently not wanting to be left out of the fun.
Later, with the help of some peanut butter crackers, Georgia demonstrated Jet’s obedience skills, and soon had Mac and Ace under her spell as well.
One gets the sense, even at 8, and even if her plans to become an animal doctor change, Georgia is going to accomplish what she sets out to in life. When she heard I was writing a book, she asked to be in it. When told the book was based on my travels with Ace a year ago, she said she’d settle for being on ohmidog!
Told that would require permission from her parents, she left, returning a few minutes later with a note from her mother.
“I hereby allow ohmidog! to place any and all photos of my sweet Georgia “Peach” Winston,” it said. “Jet Winston, too!”
When I jokingly asked her if she wrote the note herself, Georgia said no, adding that she hasn’t mastered cursive yet.
I assured her that would be easy. It’s just like printing, only with waves.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 8th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animal doctors, animals, ball, beach, dogs, figure 8, figure 8 island, georgia, jet, mac, obedience, ocean, pets, photography, playing, surf, swimming, training, travels with ace, veterinarians, water, waves, winston
This photo seems to sum up Ace’s feelings (as I read them, anyway) about the ocean.
Upon seeing it, he starts acting half his age (I do too), gets totally energized (I do somewhat), and bolts into the water until a wave hits him and he starts having second thoughts.
He eagerly chased this ball into the ocean (and he’s not real into ball chasing) and scooped it up. Then, though his tail was in full curl – the barometer by which I measure his happiness – he got a look on his face that seemed to say “what am I doing in here?”
Then he rushed ashore before the next wave broke. He loves the ocean. But he has a slight fear, or should we say healthy respect, of waves.
Ace and I were in Wilmington visiting friends Steve and Louise Coggins, who we’ve told you about before, and who, in addition to putting us up, sponsored my table at a “Lunch with an Author” event at Cape Fear Community College.
The event, which raises money for creative writing scholarships, was pretty easy duty — a two minute speech, and lunch with a friendly group of people who, by virtue of sitting at my table, got my book (“DOG, INC.: How a Collection of Visionaries, Rebels, Eccentrics and Their Pets Launched the Commercial Dog Cloning Industry.”)
Among the dozen North Carolina authors appearing were Rory Flynn, the daughter of Errol Flynn and author of “The Baron of Mulholland”; Martha D. Peterson, a former CIA agent and author of “The Widow Spy;” and Katerina Katsarka, author of “Around a Greek Table, Recipes and Stories.” Katerina also stayed at the home of Steve and Louise, and brought along some the best spanakopita I’ve ever had.
Ace didn’t get any of that — I don’t think – but he did manage to mooch more than his share of treats at their home on Figure 8 Island.
As opposed to the hands-free bottle, or an IV Coca-Cola drip?
The only downside of the trip was a flat tire. Fortunately it didn’t take place until I had arrived on the island. Unfortunately, my spare tire, while it rides on the back of my Jeep, is temporarily trapped behind a locking bicycle rack.
A locking rack whose key disappeared a long time ago. (It’s pretty amazing that, in our 27,000-mile road trip with Ace, that never arose as an issue.)
That appeared to mean I would need a tow-job, and a whole new tire, even though the ones on my car are only about two weeks old.
The tow-truck man quickly located the hole, though, and plugged it up. He also passed on some useful beach knowledge — misting yourself with a Listerine-water mix (I presume in a hand-held bottle), will keep no-see-ums away.
It was far too quick a beach visit, but a thoroughly enjoyable one, especially for Ace, who got a sufficient amount of ocean time, a more than sufficient amount of treats, and some quiet time with his good friend Earl.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, beach, cape fear community college, coca cola, coke, dog inc., dogs, figure 8 island, flat tire, hand held bottle, john woestendiek, lunch with an author, north carolina, ocean, pets, road trip, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, waves, wilmington
After hanging out with David Love and his pit bull, Kitty — during which time my dog waited in the car — I owed Ace some fun, so I stopped at a smokehouse outside Brookings to pick up something to eat, then looked for a scenic place to eat it.
I toted my lunch — smoked salmon, a hunk of cheddar cheese and a bowl of clam chowder — to the beach and found a weathered and washed up tree trunk that was big enough to seat us both.
Smoked salmon is my new favorite thing. It may even be better than cigarettes.
I nibbled and sipped my soup, tossing hunks of cheese and pieces of salmon, including all the skin, to Ace. The ocean roared. A cool westerly wind made my food wrappers, and Ace’s ears, flutter. The sandy beach sprawled before us, empty except for pieces of wood washed grey. The sun, finally, was out.
Between the lulling surf, the warming sun and the full belly, I decided a few horizontal minutes might be nice — and the log was big enough to oblige. I stretched out atop it. Ace sat at the other end. And I fell asleep, just for 15 minutes or so. When I woke up, Ace was still sitting at the end of the log, staring out at the ocean.
Sometimes, I can’t tell whether Ace likes a place or not. If there are loud noises, big crowds, strange sights, he gets a little jumpy. But this one seemed to suit him just fine.
He seemed, almost, to be thinking — about what I have no idea, maybe when are we going to get home, how much longer do I have to spend in this car, what has become of my life. As we near the six-month mark on our road trip, I’m thinking more and more that, exciting as all these new sights and scents have been, he wants some familar surroundings, a routine.
I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if he’s enjoying himself as we cross America — does he give a whit, for instance, about the kind of scenic beauty that Oregon’s coast showed us? Does he care so much about where he is, or only who he is with, and when that person might come through with some dinner?
I don’t know. But there, on that beach, at that moment, he seemed perfectly content.
I was too, and could have easily fallen back asleep on my log bed. Instead we got up and walked a ways and played chase and danced at the edge of the surf, eluding the incoming waves. He darted around and took in mouthfuls of sand, as he does when he’s at the beach.
We stopped in the first town, Crescent City, and spent the night in a room with the most badly stained carpet I’ve ever seen. Ace sniffs out every new room, but he spent even more time on this one — going from spot to spot for a good 15 minutes.
Then he jumped up on the bed with me.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 20th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, animals, beach, brookings, chrissey state park, coast, coastal, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, logs, noise, ocean, oregon, pets, photography, quiet, rest, road trip, rocks, shore, sleep, smoked salmon, surf, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, waves