California College Student Missing After Wave Swept Him Away During 'Polar Plunge'

A college student remains missing after disappearing into the waves while swimming with wrestling teammates at a California beach.

Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, a senior majoring in political science at San Francisco State University, went swimming at Esplanade Beach in Pacifica with two friends on Thursday morning, NBC News reported.

Hamzah Alsaudi in a photo circulated by the Pacifica Police Department.
Hamzah Alsaudi in a photo circulated by the Pacifica Police Department.

Hamzah Alsaudi in a photo circulated by the Pacifica Police Department.

His friends, fellow members of the school’s wrestling team, told KTVU that they were all taking a “polar plunge,” meaning swimming in cold water during the winter.

A large wave swept Alsaudi out to sea, and they could not find him, his friends said, adding that he was not a strong swimmer. The two called 911 for help, according to a statement from the Pacifica Police Department.

The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search for Alsaudi on Friday.

“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and classmates of beloved student and athlete Hamzah Alsaudi who remains missing following yesterday’s tragic accident,” San Francisco State University said in a statement, per CBS News. “We are grateful to the Coast Guard and the Pacifica Police Department for all they have done. Campus resources are available for the members of our community who need assistance during this difficult time.”

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