Steven Arthur Bierle, 44, of Gardiner, Montana, was vacationing in the Shelter Cove area with his family when, shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 15, his son slipped on a rock on Black Sands Beach and fell into the ocean. Bierle dove in after him.
“The boy’s father went into the water and was able to push his son out of the water and back onto the beach,” reads a press release from the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office. “Before the father could exit the water, a large wave came in and forced him underwater and out of sight.”
The Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department responded and pronounced Bierle dead at the scene.
According to Bierle's Facebook page, he was the co-owner of Flying Pig Adventure Co., based in Gardiner, at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The company offers whitewater rafting and horseback riding excursions, as well as guided fishing trips. According to Bierle's page, he leaves behind two sons and his wife of almost 20 years.
The full press release is copied below:
On March 15, 2015 at about 11:25 AM the Coroner’s Office was notified of an accidental drowning that had just occurred in the area of Black Sands Beach, Shelter Cove.
A family on vacation from Gardiner, Montana, was at the beach when a thirteen year old family member slipped on a rock and fell into the ocean. The boy’s father went into the water and was able to push his son out of the water and back onto the beach. Before the father could exit the water, a large wave came in and forced him under water and out of sight. A short while later the body was seen face down in the water but too far out for any of the witnesses to attempt a rescue.
The Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and was able to recover the body out of the water. Resuscitation attempts were made but the subject was eventually declared deceased at the scene.
The deceased subject has been identified as Steven Arthur Bierle, age 44, from Gardiner, Montana.
A Montana man drowned Sunday morning near Shelter Cove after saving his 13-year-old son who’d fallen into the water.