Swimmers recover body from cliff base

After being held off by treacherous conditions for three days, San Mateo County rescue swimmers were finally able to recover a body in the surf near Montara on Sunday afternoon.

The identity of the body had not been determined as of Sunday evening, and a Coroner’s Office deputy said investigators had not determined whether the person was a man or a woman. An autopsy will be performed as early as today, he said.

A hiker at Devil’s Slide made the grisly discovery at 1:10 p.m. Thursday in a narrow inlet at the base of a cliff north of Montara State Beach, according to San Mateo County sheriff’s Lt. Lisa Williams.

However, the surf was too high and the conditions were too dangerous to risk the safety of rescuers,Williams said. After waiting for the right weather, tidal and surf conditions throughout the weekend, authorities began their recovery operation at 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

Rescue swimmers from the Pillar Point Harbor Master’s Office, California State Parks and the Sheriff’s Office navigated the water around the cliffs in personal watercraft. At 12:30 p.m. — after several hours of battling the pounding surf — the body was recovered and taken to Pillar Point Harbor, Williams said. It was later transported to the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office.

Pillar Point Harbor Master Dan Temko led the recovery efforts, according to Williams.

In earlier reports, authorities speculated that the body could be that of a man who was reported missing two weeks ago and whose car was found one-fourth of a mile north of where the body was discovered.

Wire services contributed to this report.

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A cable car on the Powell-Hyde line ascends Russian Hill at Hyde and Chestnut streets. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Streetcars and cable cars to return later this year

F-line coming back in May, while Powell/Hyde will be restored in the Fall

Mayor London Breed announces The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Cities including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley are calling for large grocery and drug store chains to pay employees hazard pay for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Shutterstock)
SF proposes $5 hazard pay law for grocery, drug store workers

San Francisco may soon join the growing number of cities requiring large… Continue reading

San Francisco workers who are members of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers are calling for The City’s retirement board system to stop investing in Chevron. <ins>(Shutterstock)</ins>
SF should step up efforts to divest from fossil fuels

Retirement fund continues to include big oil companies

The deYoung Museum will reopen to the public March 6 with an exhibition of works by Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso. (Courtesy Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco)
de Young Museum to reopen with ‘Calder-Picasso’

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, The City’s museums and cultural institutions are reopening.… Continue reading

Most Read