An incoming storm may delay efforts to recover the body of a woman who was lost and presumed killed in a landslide at Fort Funston Friday, Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials said Monday.
The woman was seen climbing up an 80-foot cliff with another woman and a dog at the popular dog-walking area around 2:30 p.m. on Friday when the cliff started caving in on top of them, fire officials said Friday. An estimated four or five tons of dirt fell on to the beach in the slide.
Bystanders were able to pull out the other woman, and attempted to dig out the other but were unsuccessful. The dog was uninjured.
Firefighters combed the area with the help of a search dog Friday night, as well as metal detectors and efforts to ping the woman’s cellphone, and even a drone, but by 6 p.m. had concluded that it was unlikely she would be found alive and switched over to a recovery operation searching for her body.
The woman’s name has not been released.
The search has continued since then, but the use of heavy equipment has been halted due tidal action, continued instability of the cliff and now an incoming storm, officials said. Efforts are currently focused on a visual search of the area, but officials said they hope to be able to use long-boom excavators on the beach after the storm passes.
“Emergency worker safety in ever-changing beach conditions remains our top priority,” Golden Gate National Recreation Area officials said in a statement. “They will work around the forecasted hazardous storm conditions, and will resume operations when the current storm system passes and it is safe to work in the search area.”
Officials assessed the possible use of ground penetrating radar on Monday, but said it was ruled out because of the instability of the area and the likelihood of false positives due to concrete and metal debris in the area.
Charlie Strickfaden, Communications Director for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said the incident “appears to be an unfortunate and isolated natural incident.”
Fort Funston remains open to the public.
Bay City News contributed to this report.