A good Samaritan ran into the chilly water of the Pacific Ocean Saturday night and helped pull a woman to safety after the sailboat she was on with other people ran aground in Pacifica.
Despite darkness and the turbulent surf, rescuer Heiko Gieraths said everyone on the 33-foot boat managed to get to shore after they experienced engine troubles off of Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar Beach). Officials later said four people on the boat were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Gieraths said he and his family were heading home after a night out when he spotted the light of a boat in the surf line. He decided to drive down to the beach and check out the scene.
He found a mother and son on the beach talking on the phone with the Coast Guard. While he helped provide information to authorities, Gieraths said he saw a man jump from the boat.
Gieraths said he then spotted a woman leap from the boat, appearing to fall on her face. That's when he ran into the surf and pulled her from the water.
"I feel pretty good actually," Gieraths, who is from Pacifica, said after the impromptu rescue. "Just lucky I was there, I guess."
Two other people and a dog also jumped off the boat and managed to make it to dry ground, Gieraths said.
"Everyone seems OK," Gieraths said. "Paramedics are here, police, so that's the positive thing."
A woman who was on the boat said the vessel ran aground after the motor "went out on us." The boat was headed to San Diego, authorities said.
Two women, 20 and 24, from Spokane, Washington, were among those taken to the hospital, according to police. A 33-year-old man from Crescent City, California, and a 49-year-old woman from Long Creek, Oregon, were also among the transported.
The sailboat was eventually removed from the sand on Wednesday and towed away.