SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) – The Coast Guard on Tuesday morning suspended the search for a 12-year-old boy swept out by waves at Cowell Ranch State Beach in Half Moon Bay on Monday.
The boy’s father and 8-year-old sibling were also swept into the water by waves but were eventually pushed back to shore.
The 12-year-old has been identified by his family as Arunay Pruthi.
“I saw sirens and flashing lights up on the cliffs and knew something was up. Then looked across the beach and saw everyone was looking off into the water,” Ben Hatton said.
Witnesses Ben Hatton and Lauren Roverge say they quickly realized that people were stuck in the water.
Roverge says she spoke to the family and learned it was a father, his 12-year-old and 8-year-old battling the waves.
“I saw a group of people that were crying and so I approached them and asked if they knew what happened and they told me that there was actually a couple of kids out in the water who started drowning and so parents went in to go rescue them. They started drowning as well. The water was very tumultuous. It was just really big waves crashing one after the other and I guess they all ended up getting out except for one of the kids,” Roverge said.
The 12-year-old was pulled nearly 100 yards offshore, and officials are continuing to search for him.
Family and friends stayed on scene at the search site into the evening hours, waiting for any updates.
California State Parks say the search is only becoming more difficult.
“Tides going out right now but we can’t see anything. That’s why the helicopters out there with the bright lights right now,” a state park official said.
Crews say this is another reminder to pay attention to dangerous surf warnings and sneaker waves.
Parts of the Bay Area are currently under a high surf advisory.