News Release

Missing Person Recovery Efforts at Fort Funston

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Date: February 25, 2019
Contact: GGNRA Public Affairs, 415-561-4730

On Friday, February 22 through Sunday, February 24, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area recovery team continued recovery efforts, and maintained the safety and integrity of the search site at Fort Funston. The team, supported by soils specialists from partner agencies, and the National Park Service (NPS), assessed the conditions and safety of the beach and search area. After Saturday, equipment was not utilized due to tidal action, continued sandy bluff instability, and anticipated storm conditions. Efforts are focused on visual search of the remaining beach and bluff area. Emergency worker safety in ever-changing beach conditions remains our top priority. They will work around the forecasted hazardous storm conditions, and will resume operations when the current storm system passes and it is safe to work in the search area.


On Monday, February 25, an assessment of the use of ground penetrating radar was conducted. Unfortunately, use of this equipment has been ruled out because it would have to be operated by a specialist in the unstable search area and false positives would be created due to pre-existing concrete and metal debris.

The NPS recovery team will assess the conditions of the beach and sandy bluff search area when current storms pass and hope to utilize long-boom excavators to work safely on the beach surf area.

Said Charlie Strickfaden, Communications Director for Golden Gate National Recreation Area, “From third hand reports, this appears to be an unfortunate and isolated natural incident. Ocean waves, soft sand and soil, and recent storm events contribute to erosion of beaches and coastal bluffs. Beach and coastal bluff areas throughout the bay area are popular attractions.”

All bay area agencies, including the NPS, inform visitors of the general condition of these natural coastal landscapes, and encourage them to be aware of their surroundings through education and personal contacts, signage, and website information. The Fort Funston area, with the exception of the beach and search area, remains open and accessible to the public.

The names of the two women are not being released out of deference to the privacy and concern for their friends and family during this tragic event. Recovery operations will be continued and updates will be provided as they become available.

Last updated: February 25, 2019

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Building 201, Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123-0022


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