A San Francisco State University wrestler went missing Thursday after he jumped in the waters off a California beach for a polar plunge, authorities said.
Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, was hit by a large wave while he and two friends were swimming at Esplanade Beach around 10:30 a.m., Pacifica police said.
The college sophomore was pulled away from the shore and disappeared beneath the waves. After searching for Alsudi to no avail, his friends made it back to the beach and called 911.
Police, lifeguards, and the Coast Guard looked for Alsaudi using drones, aircraft and a surface vessel, but called off the search Friday.
According to SF State, search efforts will resume this weekend.
“I write to you with a heavy heart,” the school said in a statement. “At this time, we have been told that authorities are no longer actively searching for Hamzah, and he is considered missing.”
Pacifica, a city 15 miles south of San Francisco, was experiencing dangerous rip tides when Alsaudi was yanked out to sea.
Friends told KTVU that Alsaudi and his friends had jumped into the rough waters for a polar plunge, a trend when swimmers jump into cold water in the winter months. The Pacifico water was 53 degrees Wednesday, data shows.
A decorated athlete, Alsaudi is pursuing a political science degree with a minor in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Studies. He was born in Iraq but was living in Santa Monica.