County of Marin - News Releases - Dog Rescue

For Immediate Release
April 06, 2017

Dog Rescued 3 Days After Fatal Boat Accident

Marin County firefighters find yellow Labrador retriever shivering on rocky beach

San Rafael, CA – On April 6 a glimmer of good news emerged from a tragedy when a dog that was assumed drowned during a fatal boating accident April 3 was found by two Marin County firefighters on a rocky beach.

A dog named Yoda eats a doggie treat while sitting in a Fire Department truck shortly after his rescue.Yoda gets a treat in the back of a Marin County Fire pickup truck after being rescued.

Brian Phidat Ho, a 47-year-old San Jose resident, died when his 13-foot Boston whaler capsized in rough surf at the mouth of Tomales Bay in northern Marin County. Two dogs and another man also were in the boat when it was capsized by waves; the second man and one of the dogs were recovered shortly after the incident by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office personnel.

At 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Marin County Fire Battalion Chiefs Chris Martinelli and Graham Groneman were riding on rescue watercraft just offshore, scouting locations during a water rescue orientation for firefighters. They were about a quarter mile north of Dillon Beach when they spotted a pale yellow object on the beach.

“They were hugging the coastline when they saw the dog hunkered down under a rocky outcropping,” said Battalion Chief Bret McTigue. “They went on shore and put a lifejacket on her. She was wet and shivering after a few days out in the elements.”

The dog, a young female yellow Labrador retriever named Yoda, matched the description of the missing dog from Monday’s capsizing. Although Yoda displayed no apparent injuries, personnel from Marin Humane were to check him out before releasing him to a family member. McTigue said Yoda was doing well at the Tomales Fire Station, warming up by a fireplace after enjoying his fill of food and water.

“We called the family and we happened to reach them during the funeral,” McTigue said. “We gave them the update and they were able to make the announcement about the dog at the funeral, which was nice.”


Jason Weber
Marin County Fire Department

33 Castle Rock Ave.
Woodacre, CA 94973
(415) 473-6717
Email: Jason Weber
Marin County Fire website