Naked Ocean Beach Nighttime Swimmer Can’t Find Clothes, Goes Home – Sets Off 2 Hour Rescue Search

What a story! Apparently, an Ocean Beach woman with friends went swimming last night – Tuesday night – and they went swimming without clothes – naked – .  When she got out of the (low-50s?) water she couldn’t find her friends, she couldn’t find her clothes, her cellphone or even her wallet.  What to do? So, she walks home.  Now, the U-T is reporting that she walked home “drunk and naked”. OMG!

Anyhow, she probably fell asleep at some point, not even imagining that her absence on the beach would set off such a scene.

Anyhow, someone walking on the beach near the end of Brighton Avenue near Dog Beach found her stuff.  This was about 4:30 a.m. – this morning.  Sounds like the good Samaritan waited around for an hour to see if anyone claimed the clothes, cellphone and wallet.  No one did.  So, they called the lifeguards.

Well, this sounded the alarm.  San Diego lifeguards and police went into immediate “search and rescue” mode. Lifeguards took their boats out into the water in search of the woman.  They did this for two hours. Some of their crews also searched on the shore. The lifeguards also requested help  from the U.S. Coast Guard, which began a helicopter search around 6 a.m.   A Coast Guard boat also joined the search.

Initially, reported KUSI, Lifeguards were looking for the woman from observation towers, from boats and using land patrols, according to lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan.

And after what the U-T called, “an exhaustive two-hour search on the shore and in the water”, all the lifeguards went back to their more standard routines, and suspended the rescue effort about 7:30 a.m.

The Coast Guard helicopter continued the search for a while longer.  Meanwhile, San Diego police had gone to the woman’s last known address but were not able to locate her.

Or at first.  Apparently, either during a later search at her Ocean Beach apartment – or sometime, police did find her safe and unharmed, after 9:30 a.m., police Lt. Andra Brown told the press.

Brown said officers had checked the woman’s apartment complex, but NBC San Diego reported it took some time before they got the correct unit number for the woman. She was at home by then.

Officers had impounded her belongings and did not immediately return them, Brown said. The woman’s name was not released.

Now, really, this could have happened to any of us – any of us who go swimming naked in mid-50’s temperatures.  And at night. But, hey, if you’ve had enough alcohol, you don’t really feel the cold that much.

But, dammit. Think of all the excitement the search and rescue teams had. A careless OBcean spurred into action an entire phalanx of first-responders, people we rely on, who combed the land, sea, and air for this person.  I’m wondering whether the police impounding her clothes was slightly in retribution. I mean, isn’t she the victim here ? Or is she? (But what happened to all her friends – you know – the ones she went swimming with?)

We can just say: Be careful out there, friends.  Remember where you leave your wallet and clothes when you jump into that water.  And thank you to the good Samaritan, whoever you are.

A lawyer and grassroots activist, I was finally convinced by Patty Jones to start the OB Rag, a blog of citizen journalists, after she got tired of listening to my rants about the news. Way back during the Dinosaurs in 1970, I founded the original Ocean Beach People’s Rag - OB’s famous underground newspaper -, and then later during the early Eighties, published The Whole Damn Pie Shop, a progressive alternative to the Reader.


  1. avatarFrank Gormlie says

    I win! There’s over 300 hits on this post this morning. I knew if I was able to place the words “naked” and “Ocean Beach” in the same headline, it would go viral. Adding the word “swimmer” was just the icing. I couldn’t figure out how to get “marijuana” in there however. And please, notice how the headline was gender neutral.