San Francisco State student Hamza Alsawdi went missing Thursday during a “polar plunge” at Esplanade Beach in Pacifica, California, police said in news release.

Around 10:30 a.m. on January 19, police were called to the beach for a swimmer in distress. Officials said Alsaudi and two others went into the ocean, but while in the water, Alsaudi, 22, was hit by a large wave that pulled him further from shore.

Two other swimmers were able to get back to shore and called 911 for help, police said.

Hamza Alsaudi

Pacific Police Department

The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched an aircraft and a surface vessel to assist in the search for Alsaudi, police said. CBS Bay Area said several other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol’s air unit and the San Bruno Police Department’s drone, have been asked to assist in the search.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Alsaudi attended San Francisco State with a degree in political science and a minor in Arabic studies, the college said. He was also a beloved member of the institution’s wrestling team, his school said in a letter to the community shared Friday afternoon and was a four-year high school letter winner.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Gator community right now as we process this news,” the letter said. “We remain deeply grateful to the Coast Guard, the police department and others for all they have done to assist in the search.”

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