San Francisco News

Good Samaritan describes rescue after tourist falls in SF Bay

Sunday, January 19, 2014
 A tourist from Taiwan is recovering after falling into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay on Saturday afternoon. Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco pier at sunset

A tourist from Taiwan is recovering after falling into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay on Saturday.

A Good Samaritan came to her rescue late Saturday afternoon at Torpedo Pier near the Golden Gate Bridge.

"It feels good. It feels very good," rescuer Aaron Shiansky said.

Shiansky is talking about what it was like to help save the woman who fell off Torpedo Pier.

He took off his shoes and jumped, joining another Good Samaritan who was already in the water.

"I could see from the top of the pier that she was foaming out of the mouth, taking in a lot of water. He was struggling, having difficulty holding her up by himself. So that's when I made the decision to go," Shiansky said.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday, authorities say a woman in her 30s, the tourist from Taiwan was on the pier near the Crissy Field Warming Hut Café & Bookstore. The fire department says she was taking photos when she backed up and tripped over the edge.

Shiansky was among three people who jumped in to save her.

"I was able to get my left arm around a piling and brace my feet on the other piling and hold her up with another arm. Then some guy dropped a fish net down that I was able to hold on to give me support," Shiansky said.

The Coast Guard and the San Francisco Fire Department arrived and performed CPR, which got the woman breathing on her own again.

Shiansky was at the pier to watch the sunset with his brother from South Carolina, who is visiting San Francisco for the first time.

"I'm really proud of him. I told him he needs to get in there. He's got medical experience and he saved the girl. He's a man," said the rescuer's brother, Jacob Shiansky.

Shiansky is a software salesman in San Francisco now, but before he was a lifeguard along the Atlantic Ocean.

"And I did it for about five years. Hilton Head. Myrtle Beach. Water's a little bit colder out here," he said.

Shiansky has made dozens of rescues before, but none quite like this.

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san francisco bay, tourism, rescue, coast guard, sffd, san francisco news
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