Police say the incident happened near the San Francisco Marina Yacht Harbor. After the incident Friday afternoon, three yacht club members jumped in to try and rescue the driver, but they weren't able to get to her before the van sank.
San Francisco police say divers using sonar found the sunken van with a body inside after about three hours of searching.
The identity of the woman was not released. The Coast Guard told KGO-TV that there were multiple people in the minivan when it plunged into the bay, and all but one managed to get to safety.
Police and firefighters halted the recovery operation overnight due to dangerous conditions and because they lacked the proper equipment. Officials resumed the job with help from a salvage company Saturday morning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.