Massive swell nearly sweeps woman away

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) – A woman was standing on the north side of the Nokomis Jetty watching the storm before she was pulled under water by a massive swell.

According to a witness, the woman was standing on the jetty about 1:20 p.m., facing the Gulf, when a giant swell came through and knocked her down.  


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Nokomis Jetty rescue 1

Dramatic rescue of a woman who was standing on the north side of the Nokomis Jetty during the storm.


Photos courtesy of Dale Wilde

The south side of the jetty had been closed at the time, but authorities had not yet closed the north side. Lifeguards were also calling people off the jetty.

Dale Wilde, who was visiting her mother in Nokomis, captured the entire incident in photos from the beginning to the woman’s rescue.


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Nokomis Jetty rescue 3

Dramatic rescue of a woman who was standing on the north side of the Nokomis Jetty during the storm.


Dale Wilde

“I was watching the surfers with my mother when we heard lifeguards begin to blow their whistles,” Wilde said. “They where telling her to get off the jetty.”

“She wasn’t moving. She was standing there like something out of that movie ‘What About Bob.'” 

Wilde was using her 600 mm lens to watch the surfers as they were jumping off the jetty. Other people were watching, saying the scenario was not going to the end well.

“It was a very unsettling moment,” Wilde said, “because she disappeared in the water and nobody saw her.”


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Nokomis Jetty rescue 5

Dramatic rescue of a woman who was standing on the north side of the Nokomis Jetty during the storm.


Dale Wilde

“Then we saw her foot. If she would have gotten her foot stuck, she would have drowned.”

There was so much rip tied at the time, that many of the surfers in the water couldn’t get to her. The lifeguards were down at the station about 50 yards from the beach.


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Nokomis Jetty rescue 7

Dramatic rescue of a woman who was standing on the north side of the Nokomis Jetty during the storm.


Dale Wilde

One of the surfers eventually was able to drag the woman up onto the rocks before the second swell came right over the jetty. “It would have taken her away,” Wilde said.

The woman was carried from the jetty and into a nearby parking lot, where she was met by EMS staff members. Lacerations can be seen on the woman’s legs. Her injuries were not life threatening.


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Nokomis Jetty rescue 8

Dramatic rescue of a woman who was standing on the north side of the Nokomis Jetty during the storm.


Dale Wilde

This serves as a public service announcement, Wilde said, to stay off the jetties. 



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