The U.S Coast Guard has suspended a search for a 54-year-old man after he was swept out to sea at a California beach over the weekend.
An urgent search operation was initiated at Martins Beach in Half Moon Bay, California, after a wave overpowered Pascal A. Micheletto Soriano, from Hughson, California, and his granddaughter Naretzi Navarrete, a five-year-old from Merced, California, on Saturday, November 25, 2023.
Naretzi was retrieved from the ocean and rushed to Stanford Hospital. She was initially transported by helicopter and a rescue boat but passed away at 3:32 pm on Sunday, November 26.
The search for Micheletto Soriano, who had also been caught in the wave, was halted on Sunday around 2:53 pm. After more than 22 hours of search covering approximately 100 square miles, there was no sign of him.
The decision to suspend the search was described by Coast Guard Captain Jordan Baldueza as deeply challenging, especially after the extensive search efforts failed to yield results.
The National Weather Service had issued warnings for sneaker waves in the area for that weekend. These unpredictable waves can surge unexpectedly far up the beach, presenting significant dangers to swimmers and beachgoers. The incident at Half Moon Bay, a location renowned for its picturesque views but also known for maritime hazards, highlights the risks of such natural occurrences.