HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KRON) — The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday suspended the search for a 12-year-old boy who was swept out to sea by dangerous waves at Cowell Ranch Beach.
Tarun Pruthi, the father of missing Arunay Pruthi, says they came out to the beach because of the beautiful weather, which also coincided with a High Surf Advisory.
He said it all happened very quickly.
The East Bay kids — Arunay and his 8-year-old brother — started drowning, according to witnesses, when their father rushed to the waters.
“The waves were so big… they threw me around for a little while. I could just barely make it,” said Tarun.
He and his younger son were able to escape, but Arunay could not.
Authorities on Monday used thermal imaging to locate the boy until after midnight. The Coast Guard suspended the search when they were no longer confident they would find him alive.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, fire department and California Highway Patrol all assisted in the search.
The family from Fremont is not giving up, however. “He was very athletic he could swim really well, better than me at least,” said Tarun.
They made missing flyers and have launched a Facebook group trying to get volunteers to help search the coastline, an effort the coast guard is cautioning against.
“The conditions are very hazardous. It’s been a hazardous couple of weeks and these high surf conditions. There have been numerous cases of the people have been swept off the rocks and swept into the beaches like this. So asking a lot of volunteers to come down and come the beaches could put more people in harms way,” the coast guard officer said.
Since December 30, seven people have been swept out to sea in this sector, which ranges from the central coast to Fort Bragg. The Coast Guard advises that people not enter or even approach the waves during high surf conditions, and never turn your back on the ocean.