Father who can’t swim dies while trying to save his 13-year-old son, who was dragged off the shoreline by a large wave and then sucked into the ocean by strong currents during family trip to the beach
- The incident took place on Memorial Day at Panther Beach in Santa Cruz
A father who couldn’t swim died trying to save his son on a Santa Cruz beach after the 13-year-old was hit by a large wave and then dragged 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 into the ocean.
Jonnalagadda saw his son struggling in the water and rushed in to try and save him as the waves pulled him further out to sea.
A Good Samaritan entered the water and was able to save 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 at the Chapel of Angles funeral home in Fremont on Wednesday
‘He [Jonnalagadda] however, was unfortunately swept into deeper water by the swell and gruesomely drowned while his family helplessly witnessed,” 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 at the Chapel of Angles funeral home in Fremont on Wednesday.
The GoFundMe page has raised over $200,000 to date.
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, who always puts his family first, and a joyful soul with a very positive outlook’.
The GoFundMe page also notes, “His willingness to help others knew no bounds and he never turned down anyone in need of help.
“Srinivasa and his wife were actively involved in community service and have positively impacted many lives through their support and kindness.”
There are more than 4,000 fatal accidental drownings in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC also notes that nearly 80 percent of people who die from drowning are male.