Sneaker Wave Kills Bay Area Man on His Birthday


A Bay Area man on vacation with his family died on his birthday after being swept away by a sneaker wave north of Luffenholtz Beach near Trinidad on Friday

According to Cmdr. Brendan Hilleary, response chief at Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay, “The Coast Guard was first notified of the incident by multiple reporting parties near the scene at approximately 11:40 a.m., Friday, and immediately launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from McKinleyville and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from the Coast Guard station in Samoa. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office also dispatched a deputy to scene.”

Hilleary stated that, “The helicopter arrived at the incident within six minutes of takeoff, located the missing man in the water, hoisted and flew him directly to emergency medical care at Mad River hospital.”

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Samantha Karges said the victim, identified as 39-year-old Andrew “Drew” Machi, “was located by rescue swimmer.”

A fundraiser explains that the Bay Area couple and their children were on vacation for Drew Machi’s birthday when a "wave grabbed him and threw him in the ocean.”

According to the fundraiser: “Brandie jumped in and tried to save him but he was about 15 feet out and the water was throwing her back into the rocks. She ran for help but he died…[S]he was alone with the kids for hours before any family arrived and now she’s back but won’t go home without him. his body will be brought back on Monday. Coroner said he believes he hit his head on rocks and was knocked out.”

The family’s GoFundMe page can be found here.

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