Two women drown after being swept out by high surf near Santa Cruz

Two women drowned Sunday off the coast eight miles north of Santa Cruz, authorities say.

Aylene Semana, 28, of Milpitas and her sister-in-law, Leoannie Binas-Semana, 30, of San Francisco, were fishing with their husbands Sunday afternoon off of the cliffs north of the sandy beaches at Bonny Doon Beach when high surf swept them into the sea.

According to the the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department, the victims’ husbands, brothers whose names have not been released, attempted to rescue them.

At 4:30 p.m., state parks lifeguards and the Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol recovered the bodies of the two women, according to Cal Fire officials, who were part of the response team.


A helicopter crew rescued the brothers, who were offered assistance from emergency medical crews waiting onshore, according to the Coast Guard. Both brothers were deemed stable and released at the scene.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department is investigating. No foul play is suspected.

Officials say rocky outcroppings like those near Bonny Doon Beach -- popular for fishing and sightseeing -- have been the site of numerous distress calls in recent years.

“It is a very dangerous stretch of the beach,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jake Hess, who explained that the tide changes rapidly and obscures any pathway to shore.

Earlier this year, a woman was swept into the ocean by a wave in Humboldt County.

In November, three family members at a beach near Arcata drowned amid rough waves while attempting to rescue their dog.


Officers kill suspect in gun battle in Pacoima, police say

Poll shows split in approval for outgoing Mayor Villaraigosa

L.A. voters mostly upbeat as new mayor Eric Garcetti starts his job

Twitter: @mattthamiltonn