5-year-old girl dead, grandfather missing after waves sweeps pair into ocean

A 5-year-old girl who was rescued from Half Moon Bay's coast has died, according to officials. 

A wave swept a 54-year-old man and a 5-year-old girl off Martins Beach into the ocean near Half Moon Bay on Saturday afternoon. 

The Coast Guard confirmed to KTVU that the man and girl are related; the man being the girl's grandfather.

The search began around 2 p.m. The 5-year-old girl was taken to a nearby hospital where she eventually died, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

San Mateo County Fire initially rescued her Saturday.

Search crews had searched for approximately 22 hours and over 100 square miles before suspending the search for the 54-year-old man.

The Coast Guard first received reports about the pair around 1:20 p.m., and a motor lifeboat crew arrived at the scene at 2:14 p.m. Separately, a helicopter aircrew arrived at 3:10 p.m. and again early Sunday morning. 

An additional search crew arrived late last night at 11:45 p.m., searching all night before the decision to suspend the search came at 12:38 p.m. Sunday.

"The decision to suspend search efforts is one of the hardest decisions to make, but our crews searched for nearly 24 hours without any sightings of the missing person," said Capt. Jordan Baldueza, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends affected by this very tragic event."

Multiple rescue operations occurred Saturday, with two occurring in San Francisco, involving a sailboat and a surfer.

Their identities have not been released.

These rescues come as a beach hazard goes into effect at several northern California beaches. The National Weather Service warns the ocean may look relatively calm, but a sneaker wave can appear out of nowhere and drag people and pets out to sea.

Beach-goers are advised to stay out of the water and off jetties and rocks.


Authorities say never turn your back to the ocean. The warning started Friday night and remains in effect through Sunday morning.

A flood advisory is also in effect due to high tides.