SAN FRANCISCO—Hamzah Alsaudi, 22, who is a student at San Francisco State is still missing after participating in a polar plunge on Thursday, January 19. He was last seen near Pacifica, California. 

A search was prompted later that day. Officers and firefighters searched the area around Esplanade Beach and surrounding beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard, California State Parks Ocean Lifeguards, the state highway patrol air unit and the San Bruno Police Department  helped with the search. Officials utilized drones, aircraft and a boat to aid in the search. After 24 hours of searching Alsaudi was declared missing. 

According to police, Alsaudi was struck by a large wave and “pulled farther away from the shore.” His friends told reporters that Alsaudi was not a very strong swimmer. A call was made to Pacifica police for a swimmer in distress on Thursday morning.  

A polar plunge is when a person or a group of people swim in cold waters during the winter as a sort of challenge. It can be used as an effort to fundraise for some organizations. The one Alsaudi was part of was not part of an organized event. 

San Francisco State wrote in a newsletter that, Hamzah is one of our seniors majoring in Political Science with a minor in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies. He is a beloved member of the SF State Wrestling team. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gator community right now as we process this news.