The exhausted, naked woman who was pulled out of the bay early today after a ferry passenger spotted her floundering off Tiburon was apparently suffering from a psychotic episode, the Coast Guard said today.
A naked swimmer was pulled out of the water today just off the Tiburon Peninsula by a ferry crew after she waved her arms for help. Photo by Ken Papai, special to SFGate.com Credit: Ken Papai
The woman, whose name was not released, told a doctor that she had thrown herself into the bay at 10 p.m. Monday.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Dorian Jackson said there was no independent confirmation that she had really been in the 55-degree water all night. “If she went in at 10 p.m. (Monday) night, it’s a miracle that she lived,” Jackson said. “The usual survival time under those conditions is three hours, so she’s really lucky.”
The woman was spotted by a passenger on the back deck of the Larkspur Ferry about 6:45 a.m. in the channel off of Paradise Cay, between Corte Madera and Tiburon, according to witnesses. The passenger immediately ran inside and yelled, “Man overboard.”
The captain wheeled the ferry around, spotted the woman in the water and pulled up next to her, passengers said.
“The passenger(s) that spotted her and the captain are responsible for saving her life,” ferry passenger Om Dixon wrote in an e-mail. “She was fatigued and had a difficult time grabbing the life ring and could not have lasted much longer.”
“She was treading water when we picked her up,” said passenger Tony Zucker, who rides the ferry every day to his office in San Francisco. “That was the best part, that the person was alive.”
The ferry, which was carrying about 300 people, alerted the Coast Guard and was met by paramedics when it landed in San Francisco at 7:30 a.m. Jackson said the woman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was treated for possible hypothermia.
“She was really incoherent when she was pulled out of the water and when she arrived at the hospital,” Jackson said.
He said she had told the doctor who treated her that she had jumped in the water “under duress.”
“It sounded like a psychotic outbreak,” Jackson said.
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