HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for a 12-year-old boy who was swept by a wave and out to sea from a Northern California beach.
Arunay Pruthi, his father and his 8-year-old brother were sitting on the sand at Cowell Ranch State Beach in Half Moon Bay when a rogue wave hit them and dragged them into the ocean on Monday.
The boy’s father and younger brother made it to shore but the 7th grader was dragged beneath the water and out to sea, KTVU-TV reported.
“All of us basically managed to get back but he just drifted away,” said Tanur Pruthi, the boy’s father.
Pruthi said the family had taken advantage of the Martin Luther King holiday’s warm weather to go to the beach, not realizing the danger of the surf which had waves as high as 15 feet (4.6 meters).
The Coast Guard searched until 1 a.m. Tuesday and again at day break, with crews looking for the boy about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the shore to no avail. By 12 p.m., the Coast Guard had called off the search.
“This is a very difficult decision to suspend the search,” said Coast Guard member Howard Wright. “The Coast Guard focuses on rescue activities to find a live person and we suspend the search when we are no longer confident that we’re going to be able to rescue the victim.”
Pruthi and his family created a Facebook page seeking tips about their son’s whereabouts.
“We have to find him at least,” he said.
There have been several cases of people in Northern California who have been swept off rocks and swept into the beaches in recent weeks, according to the Coast Guard.
Earlier this month, two children, ages 4 and 7, were swept to sea in Sonoma County and are presumed dead. Their father drowned while trying to save them.