SAN FRANCISCO – It’s been nearly 72 hours since the search for two Filipino teens, who were swept out to sea, was called off.
The Coast Guard presumed that 17-year-old Wayne Ausa and 16-year-old Grisham Duran, both students at Vallejo High School, drowned this past Saturday afternoon at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach.
Ausa is from Davao City and Duran is from Zambales, according to their Facebook pages.
Authorities say the teens linked arms with the three other friends, entered the waves, and struggled with the strong current.
Three of the teens were able to make it out of the water while Ausa and Duran were carried out.
The Coast Guard and fire department suspended the operation after four hours searching for the boys by air and by sea.
This is the 12th rescue operations at Ocean Beach this year.
Capt. Gregory Stump of the U.S. Coast Guard said, “We’ve had quite a few around here lately and it’s because of these violent waters and it’s unfortunate, but folks come out here and they don’t understand how violent and difficult the conditions are out here.”
Diego Vallejo was also at Ocean Beach that day and witnessed the search.
As an avid surfer Vallejo warns Ocean Beach-goers to never go further than waist deep into the water to avoid getting swept up by the current.
“You might not be able to see it on the surface but its underneath,” said Vallejo. “They call it undertow. So if you step in there and you notice it starts pulling you out, it could pull you out real quick, the key is not to panic. You either want to paddle parallel to the shore and then when you feel it stop pulling you can come back in.”
A Gofundme account has been set up to raise money for final expenses for the boys.
As of Tuesday morning, more than $800 of the $10,000 goal had been raised.
However, the Vallejo City Unified School District, students, and staff refuse to give up hope that the two student will be found alive, according to a report from the Mercury News.
The school will be organizing a vigil for Ausan and Duran this Saturday.