Father who can’t swim dies trying to save his son, 13, who was dragged from the shoreline by a large wave then sucked into the ocean by strong currents during family trip to the beach
- The incident took place at Panther Beach in Santa Cruz on Memorial Day
A father who couldn’t swim died trying to save his son at a Santa Cruz beach after the 13-year-old was hit by a large wave and then dragged out into the ocean.
Tragedy struck when Srinivasa Murthy Jonnalagadda took his family, including his son and 10-year-old daughter, to Panther Beach on Memorial Day.
A large wave knocked the teen off balance and subsequent waves began to drag him out into the ocean.
Jonnalagadda saw his son struggling in the water and ran in to try to save him as the waves pulled him out further to sea.
A good Samaritan entered the water and was able to rescue the boy.
Tragedy struck when Srinivasa Murthy Jonnalagadda (pictured) took his family, including his son and 10-year-old daughter, to Panther Beach on Memorial Day
Pictured: Srinivasa Murthy Jonnalagadda and his family. Loved ones honored his life on Wednesday at the Chapel of Angles funeral home in Fremont
‘He [Jonnalagadda] however was unfortunately dragged by the riptide into deeper waters and horrifically drowned as his family helplessly bore witness,’ loved ones wrote on the GoFundMe page.
First responders were able to recover him and he was airlifted to Stanford Hospital Emergency Department in Palo Alto, where he was pronounced dead.
Jonnalagadda is survived by his wife and two children.
Loved ones honored his life on Wednesday at the Chapel of Angles funeral home in Fremont.
The GoFundMe page has so far raised more than $200,000.
Pictured: Emergency services on Panther Beach. First responders were able to recover him and he was airlifted to Stanford Hospital Emergency Department in Palo Alto, where he was pronounced dead
Jonnalagadda is described as a ‘man of action, always putting his family first, and a fun-loving soul with a highly positive outlook’.
The GoFundMe page also notes: ‘His willingness to help others knew no boundaries and he never refused anyone needing assistance of any kind.
‘Srinivasa and his wife were actively involved in community service and positively impacted many lives with their support and kindness.’
Every year in the United States there are more than 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC also notes that nearly 80 per cent of people who die from drowning are male.