Heartbroken Fremont family says 12-year-old snatched by wave 'just drifted away'
HALF MOON BAY, Calif. - The search for a 12-year-old Fremont boy swept into the Pacific Ocean by a sneaker wave resumed on Tuesday, as his parents made a desperate plea to find their beloved son.
Tarun Pruthi and his wife stood forlornly on the shores of Cowell State Beach in Half Moon Bay, where their son, Arunay Pruthi, was last seen Monday afternoon.
The family had taken advantage of the MLK holiday's warm weather and headed off to the beach, not realizing the danger of the surf. Waves as high as 15 feet slammed the area where the 7th grader was dragged underneath the water.
"He was a reasonably good swimmer," Tarun Pruthi said on Tuesday. "It was a warm day but the waves were big."
Boy missing after surf drags him into water at Cowell Ranch State Beach
Both of his sons were swept up by the waves, but Arunay was the only one who didn't return to the beach.
"All of us basically managed to get back but he just drifted away," the elder Pruthi said.
The Coast Guard searched along the coastline until 1 a.m. Tuesday morning, and again at day break, crews started looking about 10 miles from the shore to no avail. By noon, 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."
This is not the only high surf tragedy that hit the Bay Area this winter. Earlier this month, two children, ages 4 and 7, were swept to sea in Jenner and are presumed dead. Their father raced in to rescue them and he drowned while trying to save their lives.
Though the active search is suspended, Arunay's case remains open.
"If we receive any additional information than we will plan additional searches," Wright said.
Pruthi and his family said they won’t give up until they bring Arunay home. They created a Facebook page if there are any tips about their son's whereabouts.
"We have to find him at least," he said.
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