A university student is still missing two days after jumping into the ocean as part of a trend known as polar plunging. Rescuers have called off the search for college wrestler Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, after he entered the cold waters of Esplanade Beach, California on Thursday.
The San Francisco State student was swept away by a large wave after entering the water at around 10.30am in temperatures of around 53 degrees (11C).
He had been swimming with two friends, who told KTVU they were taking part in a “polar plunge” – a trend which sees swimmers jump into cold water in the winter months.
Esplanade Beach is located in Pacifica, a city 15 miles south of San Francisco. It experienced dangerous rip tides on Thursday.
Friends searched for the political science student after he disappeared but to no avail.
They then ran back onto the beach, prompting a missing persons operation involving police and the coastguard.
Drones, aircraft and a surface vessel were unable to locate him. The search was called off later on Thursday.
Search efforts will not be resumed this weekend, according to San Francisco State officials.
San Francisco State University said in a statement: “I write to you with a heavy heart.
“At this time, we have been told that authorities are no longer actively searching for Hamzah, and he is considered missing.
“Hamzah is one of our seniors majoring in political science with a minor in Arab and Muslim ethnicities and diasporas (AMED) studies.
“He is also a beloved member of the SF State Wrestling team. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gator community right now as we process this news.
“Campus resources are available for the members of our community who need assistance during this difficult time.”
Pacifica Acting Chief of Police, Christopher Clements, said there was no further information available in relation to Alsaudi’s disappearance.
Polar plunging involves a group of people entering water in cold temperatures.
The 11C of water off Espalade Beach would have felt freezing, according to a temperature guide by the Outdoor Swimming Society.
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.