A woman died while surfing at a California beach the day after graduating from nursing school, according to her family.
Witnesses said they saw Martina Marie Scarfia, 25, of Eureka surfing with another woman at Moonstone Beach on Sunday, May 14, when she fell from her surfboard and “was overcome by waves,” the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said in a May 15 news release.
Deputies said a beachgoer “swam out to rescue Scarfia.”
The U.S. Coast Guard took her to a hospital, where she later died, the sheriff’s office said.
Scarfia graduated from the College of the Redwoods nursing program the day prior, her sister, Asia Autumn Scarfia-Ward, told the Lost Coast Outpost.
“I am so proud of everything she has done and the amazing person she has become,” Scarfia-Ward wrote on Facebook. “We celebrated as a family and paddled out together one last time until paradise.”
Ward’s cause and manner of death are under investigation pending an autopsy, the sheriff’s office said.
Moonstone Beach is 300 miles northwest of Sacramento.