A San Francisco State University wrestler went missing after diving into the ocean off the coast of a California beach for a ‘polar plunge’ with two friends on Thursday.

Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, was hit by a large wave and pulled away from the shore and disappeared beneath the waves while swimming at Esplanade Beach around 10.30 am, Pacifica police said.

The college sophomore’s friends searched for the 22-year-old but when they couldn’t find him managed to make their way 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 and will not resume search efforts this weekend.

San Francisco State University wrestler Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, went missing after diving into the ocean off the coast of a California beach for a ‘polar plunge’ with two friends on Thursday

According to a report by KTVU, Pacifica, a city 15 miles south of San Francisco, was experiencing dangerous rip tides when Alsaudi was pulled out to sea.

Alsaudi was a senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Studies and was a beloved member of the SF State Wrestling team.

Friends said 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.

‘Sad, obviously. It hasn’t fully set in yet. He was an amazing guy, one of my best friends on the team. Very giving,’ said Callum Bisping.

Neighbor Diana Compin said she brought flowers to the scene to offer comfort to Alsaudi’s loved ones.

She said during her morning walk, she came across Alsaudi’s two friends right after he went missing.

News spread among teammates and friends who arrived at the beach, huddling together with some venturing out into the water

News spread among teammates and friends who arrived at the beach, huddling together with some venturing out into the water

Friends said 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

Friends said 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

Pacifica, a city 15 miles south of San Francisco, was experiencing dangerous rip tides when Alsaudi was pulled out to sea

Pacifica, a city 15 miles south of San Francisco, was experiencing dangerous rip tides when Alsaudi was pulled out to sea

‘I walked up on a terrible scene,’ she said.

‘I think he was shaking so bad because of what was going on, not because it was cold.

‘He said I have to call his parents, but, ‘I don’t want to tell him that he’s dead, because I don’t know if he is’. This poor kid was just not together.’

News spread among teammates and friends who arrived at the beach, huddling together with some venturing out into the water.

‘[It was to] give him a send-off, celebrate him. [We] got [a] connection by touching the water,’ Bisping said.

A statement from San Francisco State University paid tribute to the missing 22-year-old and offered counselling for friends of Alsaudi as well as students and teachers.

Fellow wrestler Callum Bisping said the shock of Alsaudi going missing is yet to set in

Fellow wrestler Callum Bisping said the shock of Alsaudi going missing is yet to set in

Neighbor Diana Compin said she brought flowers to the scene to offer comfort to Alsaudi's loved ones

Neighbor Diana Compin said she brought flowers to the scene to offer comfort to Alsaudi’s loved ones

Police, lifeguards, and the Coast Guard looked for Alsaudi using drones, aircraft and a surface vessel, but called off the search Friday and will not resume search efforts this weekend

Police, lifeguards, and the Coast Guard looked for Alsaudi using drones, aircraft and a surface vessel, but called off the search Friday and will not resume search efforts this weekend

They wrote: ‘I write to you with a heavy heart. Many of you may have already heard that SF State student Hamzah Alsaudi has been missing since a swimming accident in Pacifica on Thursday, January 19.

‘At this time, we have been told that authorities are no longer actively searching for Hamzah, and he is considered missing.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gator community right now as we process this news.

‘As always, at a difficult time like this, you are not alone. Please reach out to our SF State resources if you need help or if you want to process with someone.

‘SF State friends of Hamzah and other students who need help should contact Counseling and Psychological Services. Counselors are ready and available to assist you.

‘We remain deeply grateful to the Coast Guard, Police Department, and others for all they have done to help with the search.’



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