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On Dec. 7, 2020, at about 12 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s Special Services deputies were dispatched to the North Jetty of Humboldt Bay for the report of a female victim who had been swept into the ocean.
Deputies arrived on scene and learned that the victim, identified as 65-year-old Mary Malouf of Salt Lake City, Utah, had been visiting the area and had come to the beach with her adult son to watch the waves. The two reportedly walked out to the end of the North Jetty wall and while there, a large wave suddenly swept over the wall. Both individuals were knocked off their feet by the surge. The male victim was able to hold onto the jetty rocks, however Malouf was swept out to sea.
The United States Coast Guard, Samoa Peninsula Fire District and Humboldt Bay Fire assisted in the search for Malouf utilizing ground crews, rescue boats and a helicopter. At about 1 p.m., crews located and recovered Malouf from the water.
Malouf was transported via helicopter to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office sends our deepest sympathies to the family of Ms. Malouf during this incredibly difficult time.
A High Surf Advisory remains in effect through 4 p.m. today for Humboldt County. According to the National Weather Service, breaking waves of 22 to 28 feet will continue to create hazardous conditions for beachgoers and mariners. The public is urged to use extra caution near the surf zone and avoid rocks and jetties.