SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - San Francisco Fire Department says a man who was pulled from the surf at San Francisco's Ocean Beach has died.
The surfer had been listed in critical condition after a passerby spotted him and a CPR certified resident pulled him to safety on Friday afternoon.
San Francisco firefighters responded to the scene near the San Francisco Zoo, where emergency crews took over and worked on a surfer for more than 40 minutes.
Carl Corpuz happened to be cycling and spotted the man in the water, unresponsive. "He was offshore," he said. "Who knows how long he was offshore for, and he wasn't conscious."
Corpuz made the decision to not rush into the crashing surf to pull the man out, instead, opting to call 911.
"I couldn't. I'm not a swimmer myself, so the best thing that I could do was call SFPD," he said.
Emergency crews say Corpuz did exactly what he should have and a passerby with CPR training gave this surfer a fighting chance.
"Another individual that was down on the beach was able to run into the surf and and actually rescue this individual and begin bystander CPR," said Jonathan Baxter San Francisco Fire Department.
Crews took over for that bystander and performed advanced life saving techniques. "We were able to get what we call a viable rhythm, which means we do get a pulse rate back or some sort of heart activity back," said Baxter.
With that, crews rushed him up hill to a waiting ambulance at about 1 p.m. and then to an area hospital.
Firefighters said there was a coastal hazard warning in effect with high surf, sneaker waves and rip currents. While the big surf may draw adventurous surfers it can be downright dangerous – even for strong swimmers and seasoned surfers.
"It looks like a wonderful time. You got the sun out. For San Francisco it's warm, there's a nice breeze. So, it's like 'yeah, I'm going to to to the beach.' But, you have to undertand that we have very severe rip currents. Even right now I'm looking at three of them as I sweep across the beach," said Baxter.
That beach hazard warning has expired. But, safety experts reming any beach goers that Ocean Beach is dangerous. People have died there.
They advise people to stay out of the water. But, say if you insist go with a buddy and let people know where you plan on going into the water.