Natalie Wood Lifeguard
November 24, 2011 by staff
Natalie Wood Lifeguard, The lifeguard captain who helped pull Natalie Wood’s body out of the water after she drowned 30 years ago says he believes the actress could have been saved had the search for her begun earlier.
Roger Smith, the former county supervising rescue boat captain, told the Los Angeles Times he hoped the Los Angeles County sheriff’s reopening of her death investigation would answer lingering questions over why lifeguards were not alerted for four hours after Wood disappeared from a yacht off Santa Catalina Island on Thanksgiving weekend 1981 during an excursion with her husband, Robert Wagner, and actor Christopher Walken.
In a sworn statement presented to the Sheriff’s Department, Smith said he got a call at 5:00 a.m. that morning informing him that the West Side Story star had been missing from the yacht, Splendour, for four hours. Smith told The Times that a lifeguard boat equipped with all the gear needed for the search was moored just 100 feet away.
Smith wrote that if he had been contacted sooner, Wood could still be alive today.
“I have always wondered about the delayed call for professional help to rescue Natalie Wood,” Smith said.
Just last week, the Splendour’s captain told NBC’s Today show that he believes Robert Wagner was responsible for his wife’s death.
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