Searchers Fear Missing Woman Was Swept to Sea

Silvia Lang, 77, knew her way around Point Reyes National Seashore

By Jodi Hernandez
|  Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010  |  Updated 5:36 AM PDT
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Searchers Fear Missing Woman Was Swept to Sea

Jodi Hernandez

Officials search for Silvia Lang, an avid hiker, in Point Reyes National Seashore

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Search crews are battling the wind and rain as they scour the Point Reyes National Seashore looking for a missing Marin County woman.

77-year old Silvia Lang of Nicasio has been missing since yesterday when searchers believe she went for a hike on the beach with her dog.

Searchers speculate Lang, who trains dogs for the disabled,  may have been hit by a "sneaker" wave. Those are powerful waves that sneak up suddenly on the shore.

"Our best guess is she was on the beach doing dog traning," said John Dell'Osso with the National Park Service. "We don't know what happened at that point."

Lang's car was found in the North Beach parking lot yesterday with two of her dogs inside.  A third dog was found running loose with its leash attached.

About 50 searchers combed the area today. They say they're being challenged by the weather, which is making it tough to track Lang's scent.

"It's very windy, cold and the rain's coming down sideways," said Dell'Osso.

Lang's friends are worried sick. Grace Farley, who serves with Lang on Nicasio Historical Society's Board of Directors, said her friend is an avid hiker who knows the area and is in great shape.

She believes if anyone can survive it's Lang.

"I'm just feeling devastated," said Farley. "I hope they find her. She's a wonderful lady and I'm very sad."

Search teams have suspended their efforts for the night.  They say they will scale back their operation tomorrow.

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