Tragedy Strikes as 5-Year-Old Swept Into the Ocean in Northern California

It is with a heavy heart that we report a devastating incident off the coast of Northern California, where a 5-year-old girl lost her life after being swept into the ocean by a rogue wave along with her grandfather. The tragedy unfolded on Martins Beach in Half Moon Bay, a picturesque coastal city located approximately 30 miles south of San Francisco.

The Incident

The pair, identified as a 5-year-old girl and her 54-year-old grandfather, were enjoying their time on Martins Beach on a seemingly ordinary Saturday afternoon. However, tragedy struck around 1 p.m. when a rogue wave suddenly swept them into the sea, catching them off guard.

Immediate Response

The U.S. Coast Guard Northern California reported that San Mateo County Fire personnel acted swiftly, rescuing the 5-year-old girl from the water. Despite their efforts, the young girl was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was, unfortunately, pronounced deceased.

The Search for the Grandfather

The search for the missing 54-year-old grandfather continued for approximately 22 hours, covering an extensive area of 100 square miles. Regrettably, the search yielded no sightings, leading to the difficult decision to suspend the efforts.

Capt. Jordan Baldueza, deputy commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco, expressed the challenges faced by the search crews, stating, “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.”

Weather Warnings

The National Weather Service had issued warnings of increased risks of dangerous rip currents and sneaker waves along Bay Area shores during the time of the incident. The weather conditions posed a significant challenge to the rescue operation.

The Coast Guard reminded the public to exercise caution, stating, “Long period swell and big tidal swings mean a lot of water will be moving at the coast and in the Bay. Enjoy from a safe distance and keep our rescue swimmers safe.”


This heartbreaking incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable and potentially dangerous nature of the ocean. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends affected by this tragic event. The identities of the grandfather and granddaughter have not been publicly released, allowing the family privacy during this difficult time.

As we reflect on this unfortunate event, let it stand as a reminder to prioritize safety, especially when enjoying coastal areas with unpredictable waves.

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