Tragedy Strikes Half Moon Bay as Man and Child Swept into Ocean Amid ‘Sneaker Wave’ Warnings


Half Moon Bay, California – November 27, 2023

In a harrowing incident on Saturday afternoon, a 54-year-old man and a young girl were swept into the ocean at Half Moon Bay, prompting an extensive search operation by air and sea crews. As of Sunday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard continued its efforts to locate the missing man.

The 5-year-old girl was fortunately recovered at Martin’s Beach by San Mateo County Fire personnel and swiftly transported to a nearby hospital. However, the U.S. Coast Guard crews remain focused on locating the 54-year-old man, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

The incident unfolded amid heightened warnings from the National Weather Service regarding the risk of “sneaker waves” along a broad stretch of the California coast, extending from Point Reyes to Big Sur. These unpredictable waves pose a significant threat, capable of sweeping across beaches without warning and pulling individuals into the sea. Additionally, the force of these waves can displace heavy objects like logs, posing a risk of injury or harm to those in their path.

In response to the incident, the U.S. Coast Guard promptly initiated a search operation after receiving a report at 1:20 p.m. on Saturday. The deployment included a 47-foot motor lifeboat and a helicopter, with an 87-foot patrol boat dispatched to Half Moon Bay later in the evening to support the ongoing efforts.

The National Weather Service has strongly advised the public to exercise caution along the California coast this weekend, urging everyone to stay out of the ocean. The agency specifically cautioned against approaching jetties, rocks, and beaches, emphasizing the potential for individuals to be unexpectedly pulled into the water.

As the search for the missing man continues off the shores of Half Moon Bay, this tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable dangers posed by nature, especially during periods of heightened weather-related risks. The community remains hopeful for a positive outcome as rescue efforts persist.

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