Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, of Santa Monica, was swimming with two other men at Esplanade Beach when he was hit by a wave and pulled away from the shore, the Pacifica Police Department announced in a news release shared on Friday (January 20). The two other men reportedly got out of the water and called 911, which led to Pacifica Police officers and firefighters launching a search of the area and surrounding beaches for Alsaudi.
Friends said Alsaudi was attempting the polar plunge, a challenge in which swimmers jump into cold water during the winter season at the time of his disappearance. The friends also noted that Alsaudi wasn't considered to be a strong swimmer.
"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 San Francisco State wrestling teammate Callum Bisping, the son of former UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping.
Hazmah is a senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Studies, San Francisco State Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jamillah Moore, Ed.D said in a statement shared to the campus community.
"I write to you with a heavy heart," Moore said. "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," Moore added. "We remain deeply grateful to the Coast Guard, Police Department, and others for all they have done to help with the search."