- Although the U.S. Coast Guards has suspended search, family and friends are determined to carry their own rescue efforts.
Authorities have suspended the search for a 12-year-old Indian American boy who went missing after he was swept into the ocean at a beach in California’s San Mateo county on Jan. 18. The boy, Arunay Pruthi of Fremont, was with his father and little brother at Cowell Ranch State Beach near Half Moon Bay, on “an unusually warm day,” news reports said.
The seventh grader was standing on the beach with his father and brother when they were swept all to sea, according to a tweet by Cal Fire. While the father and the 8-year-old managed to fight the waves and push back to shore, Arunay was pulled under 100 yards off shore.
“The Coast Guard’s object when it searches is for a rescue,” USCG Capt. Howard Wright told KPIX 5. “When we’re no longer confident that we’re able to rescue a victim alive, we will suspend the search.”
Arunay’s father Tarun Pruthi told KPIX 5 that he cannot fathom how a day at the beach went terribly wrong. “It was just very big waves, I guess. We didn’t expect it,” the distraught father said. “The waves were pretty big. It threw me around for a while. I just managed to barely make it.”
Family and friends are confident that Arunay is still alive and are continuing the search. They are reportedly coordinating with local fishermen, chopper, boat and drone operators, and hundreds of volunteers in their efforts to locate Arunay. They have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his search and rescue efforts. They have also set up a Facebook page that will include updates to the search for Arunay.
“Thank you for helping raise funds to support the operations and logistics involved with this effort,” the GoFundMe page says. “Any unused find will be donated to charity of Pruthis’ preference.
There is also a petition by Anrunay’s friends at change.org to continue his search. “Our friend was swept by the sea and is lost,” the petition says. “We are confident that he is still alive because Arunay is an excellent swimmer and would like your help to save this child’s life. Many more events like this could happen. We would like your help to prevent this from happening in the future. Your support can help make the difference in the life of both a family and a 12 year old boy with many more to come. Please join us in helping Arunay Pruthi, as every pair of eyes out there matter! Remember, a small amount from everyone can help save his life. We will be using all this money to help find him and do a massive advanced search.”
KTVU Fox 2 had earlier reported that the sheriff’s department used aircraft with thermal imaging technology to search at night. “We are obviously very concerned with how long he’s been in the water and the conditions of the San Mateo County coastline and the potential for hypothermia,” San Mateo County Sheriff Detective Rosemerry Blankswade told the network.
The San Mateo County coastline was under a high-surf advisory until 6 pm on Jan. 17, the report said. “Over the past few weeks, we’ve been seeing winter wave conditions, that means that sometimes we’ve got larger waves than usual and we also have sneaker waves that can come up,” said Barbara Morris from the California State Parks.