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San Francisco State wrestler Hamzah Alsaudi goes missing during ocean ‘polar plunge’

A San Francisco State University wrestler went missing Thursday after he jumped into the waters off a California beach for a polar dip, authorities said.

Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, was struck by a large wave while he and two friends were swimming at Esplanade Beach around 10:30 a.m., Pacifica police said.

The college sophomore was pulled from the shore and disappeared beneath the waves. After searching for Alsudi to no avail, his friends returned to the beach and called 911.

Police, lifeguards and the Coast Guard searched for Alsaudi using drones, planes and a surface vessel, but called off the search on Friday.

According to SF State, search efforts will not resume this weekend.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write to you,” the school said in a statement. “At this time, we have been told that authorities are no longer actively searching for Hamzah, and he is considered missing.”

The school issued a statement saying that police are no longer actively searching for Hamzah Alsaudi.
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Pacifica, a city 15 miles south of San Francisco, was experiencing dangerous high tides when Alsaudi was washed out to sea.

Friends told KTVU 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. Pacific water was 53 degrees on Wednesday, data shows.

A decorated athlete, Alsaudi is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science with a specialization in Arab and Muslim Ethnicity and Diaspora Studies (AMED). He was born in Iraq but lived in Santa Monica.

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