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Man on Point Reyes Beach Dies After Being Swept Out to Sea

Woman and dog survive with help of bystanders.

A man who was swept out to sea while walking his dog on a Point Reyes beach was found dead in the water Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Marin County Fire Department received reports of two people in distress on the North Beach section of the Point Reyes National Seashore at 12:30 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Mike Giannini of Marin County Fire.

A man and woman were walking with their dog on the beach when a wave swept all three into the water, Coast Guard Officer Mark Leahey said. The woman and the dog got back to shore, but the man did not. Giannini said bystanders had helped the woman out of the water, and she deemed unhurt after a paramedic evaluation.

The man was seen drifting in the surf for about 15 minutes until he could no longer be seen, Giannini said. Using several boats and a helicopter, the Coast Guard and the National Park rangers searched the area until the man was found at about 4 p.m. However, it appeared that the man was dead when he was found, Leahey said. The body was retrieved by personnel on a 47-foot Coast Guard vessel and transported to the Bodega Bay Coast Guard station.

The man's name and hometown have not been released. The Sonoma County Coroner's Office has taken responsibility of the case.

Inverness Fire, Southern Marin Fire and the California Highway Patrol also assisted in the efforts.

— Bay City News Service contributed to this report. Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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