GRAYLAND – A Renton woman drowned in the ocean surf off Cranberry Beach Road while fishing near Grayland Sunday morning. Her eight-year-old daughter was stranded in a car that was surrounded by incoming tide water. Deceased at the scene is Annie Y. Banh, 36.
The woman was found in the water by the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office and rescue unit at approximately 8:45 Sunday morning.
The girl was watching her mother fish when she couldn’t see her anymore so she went into the car to wait.
Pacific County Sheriff Scott Johnson told the Herald, “The girl was somewhat traumatized, but not hurt. Johnson said the girl was turned over to Child Protective Services.
“She left her little girl in the car and went in water with wader boots on,” Johnson said. “The girl was watching her and lost track of mother and got worried, and then sat in car. A passerby came by and thought it was a log and it turned out to be her mom. Somebody else found the eight-year-old in the car.”
What appears to have happened is Banh had parked her car on the beach, and then told her daughter to stay in the car while she fished, according to Johnson.
Sheriff Johnson speculated that the wadder boots became filled with water and the woman couldn’t get out of the water and ended up drowning. “There were no marks on the body,” he said.
Johnson said the girl would be going to her grandparent’s house.
Sheriff Johnson said that Banh departed Renton at 4 a.m. Sunday morning to go fishing in Grayland. The conditions on the beach were cloudy and foggy, but relatively calm.
“This is a pretty uncommon circumstance with the waters being calm,” Johnson added.
Johnson said he was told that Banh was originally from Willapa Harbor and that she lived at her parent’s home with her brother.
Full-time Deputy Hired
On another note, Johnson said that his office is in the process of putting another deputy (Randall Wiegardt, 27, of Ocean Park) to work full time. It’s good to see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Johnson said. “We’re hoping he can start August 10. We can really use him.”