Coast Guard Calls Off Search for Man Lost in 'Sneaker' Wave

54-year-old was swept out to sea off California coast, along with granddaughter, 5, who died
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2023 7:47 AM CST
5-Year-Old Dies, Grandpa Missing After Surprise Wave
A wave crashes off Half Moon Bay in California.   (Getty Images/PhotographyPerspectives)

A little girl is dead and her grandfather remains missing after a wave swept them both out to sea near California's Half Moon Bay. The search for the two began Saturday afternoon at Martins Beach, which USA Today notes is about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The 5-year-old was recovered by the San Mateo County Fire Department and pronounced dead at a local hospital, per the US Coast Guard, which added it had suspended the search for the 54-year-old missing man on Sunday after scouring 100 square miles over 22 hours.

The San Mateo County Coroner has identified the child as Naretzi Navarrete of Merced, while authorities say her grandfather is Pascal A. Michelettosoriano, a resident of Hughson, reports KTVU. "The decision to suspend search efforts is one of the hardest decisions to make, but our crews searched for nearly 24 hours without any sightings of the missing person," said Capt. Jordan Baldueza, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco.

CBS News notes that the incident took place after a series of warnings from the National Weather Service over the weekend about potential "sneaker" waves between Sonoma and Monterey Counties; San Mateo County is about midway between the two. "Sneaker waves suddenly surge much farther up the beach than expected and can overtake the unaware," per CBS. KTVU notes that authorities so far haven't been able to track down extended family for the two. (More deaths stories.)

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