High tide complicates search for woman presumed dead after Fort Funston landslide

On day two of a grim search for a woman buried by a massive landslide at San Francisco’s Fort Funston, National Park Service officials said they’re not sure if the woman is still buried or was swept out to sea. 

The search shifted from rescue to recovery effort Friday evening and by Saturday the focus was the safety of the searchers, as high tide washed away a large chunk of the sandy debris and suspended the search, officials said in a press conference Saturday.

The frantic effort was called off Friday at dusk. Hours later, around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, strong currents came in and washed away about half to two-thirds of the sand, officials said. They added they’re now working with two scenarios: The woman is still buried or she was washed out to sea by the strong current. 

The incident occurred around 3 p.m. Friday when two women were walking along the beach and the unlikely happened. It’s being described as a “tragic, natural incident” with no human influence. Officials said it’s very unusual that humans would be involved during at the time of the collapse. 

Officials are waiting until the woman’s family is notified before they release her name.  

Fort Funston is part of the federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is about 10 miles (17 kilometers) south of the Golden Gate Bridge. Searchers said they will resume looking for the body when conditions are safe.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.