Bay Area mom warns of beach dangers after losing daughter in drowning incident

 On this Labor Day weekend, a mother offers an emotional message after her daughter drowned at a beach in Santa Cruz County.

Prithi Nair of San Lorenzo says her 19-year-old daughter had her whole life ahead of her.

But Anushri Nair, known affectionately as Shuggie, lost her life suddenly during a trip to the beach with friends.

Mom says on July 1, her  daughter visited the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk before she headed north to another beach.

The promise of a beautiful sunset at Panther Beach drew Shuggie there for the first time that day.

It would turn out to be her last time.

"Sometimes, it's like i'm living in someone else's world. You can not believe this has happened. It's like sheer devastation," said Nair.

The grieving mother describes the void that is now her life without her beloved daughter.

Nair says her daughter and friends were sitting on a rock when a large wave suddenly swept them into the ocean. Her friends survived, Nair says there was a massive search but Shuggie was gone, that a rip current had taken her out to sea.

Nair shared with KTVU video Shuggie had taken shortly before she drowned. Her phone was found in a duffle bag she had left on the beach.

Nair says ten days later, a swimmer at a Monterey County beach discovered Shuggie's body.

"I couldn't believe it. She's gone," says Nair, "She was our only child. She was the absolute love of our life. She was our absolute everything."  

Nair says Shuggie had an exceptionally close relationship with her mother and father.

Nair showed KTVU a video her daughter sent of herself singing and playing the  guitar-just to let her mother know how much she loves her.

Mom says Shuggie's passion for life led her to graduate from the EMT program at Chabot College recently, with dreams of becoming a paramedic to save lives.

"Where are you? How did this happen? This is our life. I just don't understand," says Nair.  

She hopes to warn others about the dangers of rip currents and what could happen in an instant.

"She just left one day, go to the beach and never came back. And if another mother just in their head to be more aware than I was," says Nair about hoping to save other families from the despair she's experiencing over the loss of her daughter.

Mom now wears the ring that Shuggie was wearing when she was found, a gift from her parents.

Nair plans to start a scholarship in her daughter's name at Chabot College and help out at homeless shelters where Shuggie would volunteer.

Nair says she is grateful for the first responders' empathy in the way they handled her daughter's case.  In particular, she was struck by Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Vancott who was tasked with helping to notify her in July  about what happened to Shuggie. 

Deputy Vancott returned in August and gifted her a wooden birdfeeder engraved with the message: "Keep your face in the sunshine and you will never notice the shadows."