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Grandfather swept out to sea with 5-year-old remains missing, California officials say

A grandfather swept off a beach with his 5-year-old granddaughter, who drowned, remains missing, California officials reported.

A search for the 54-year-old man following the incident Saturday, Nov. 25, has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Rescuers combed 100 square miles in the 22-hour search, the Coast Guard said.

A wave swept the two off Martins Beach into the ocean near Half Moon Bay at about 1:20 p.m., McClatchy News reported.

5-year-old found after two are swept out to sea in California. Man remains missing

Firefighters found the girl and took her to a hospital.

Yaretzi Noemi Biorato, 5, of Merced did not survive, the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office told McClatchy News.

Authorities identified the missing man as her grandfather, Pascal A. Micheletto Soriano, KNTV reported.

“Ocean waves are unpredictable and @NWSBayArea has issued a beach hazards advisory through noon today for the threat of sneaker waves and rip currents,” the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office said on X on Nov. 26.

Half Moon Bay is about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

What to know about drowning

At least 4,000 people die from drowning every year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and drowning is a leading cause of death for children.

Some factors can make drowning more likely, including not knowing how to swim, a lack of close supervision, not wearing a life jacket, and drinking alcohol while recreating near or in water.

The National Drowning Prevention Alliance said there are tips to help keep you safe in the water, including checking local weather conditions, never swimming alone and choosing the right equipment.

“Don’t hesitate to get out of the water if something doesn’t feel right,” the group said on its website. “Whether it’s that the current is getting rough, rain has started to fall, or your body is just not responding like you would like it to due to fatigue or muscle cramps, then just leave and return to the water another day. It’s always a good thing to trust your instincts.”

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