Mother of Teen Swept Out to Sea Near Half Moon Bay Says She Told Son to ‘Stay Out’ of Ocean
Rescuers Friday ended a two-day search for an 18-year-old who was swept out to sea while boogie boarding with friends at a beach south of San Francisco.
Friends and family identified the teen as high school senior Naphtali Moimoi, a football player from Hayward, California, who was on a trip to Half Moon Bay with friends during spring break, KRON-TV reported.
Moimoi’s friends called 911 Thursday afternoon after seeing the teen’s boogie board pop out of the water and then spotting him face down and unresponsive in the water, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rosemerry Blankswade said.
Authorities dispatched two helicopters and boats on Thursday and sent another crew out Friday. But they called off the search because of low visibility, rough waters and the “lack of any confirmed sightings that would lead us to believe he is still in the area,” Blankswade said.
Wiping back tears, the teenager’s mother said she asked her son if he had checked the weather before heading to the beach, and he assured her he had. Half Moon Bay is an area popular with surfers and also known to have strong rip currents.
“I just told him to stay out of the water,” Lisa Moimoi told KRON.
Friends who were with Moimoi told authorities they tried to save him but couldn’t reach the teen because the water was too rough.
Hayward High School, where Moimoi was a star football player, said in a statement it was devastated by “the sudden loss of a young, promising life.”