Family of 12-Year-Old California Boy Swept Out to Sea Offers $50,000 Reward for Recovery

The family of Arunay Pruthi, 12, is offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who rescues him following an incident at Cowell Ranch State Beach on Monday.

Arunay, his father Tarun Pruthi, and his 8-year-old brother were sitting on the sand of the California beach when an unexpected wave pulled them into the ocean around 3:45 p.m.

Tarun told KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco he and the 8-year-old boy were able to make it back to shore, but Arunay did not. 

"All of us basically managed to get back, but he just drifted away," he said of Arunay. 

The father added the 12-year-old is a "reasonably good swimmer."

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"We didn't expect it. The waves were pretty big. It threw me around for a while. I just managed to barely make it," Pruthi told CBS San Francisco Bay Area.

The family called the Coast Guard, leading to a search from Monday night until Tuesday afternoon. The Coast Guard eventually decided to call the rescue mission off. 

"This was a very difficult decision to suspend the search," Coast Guard Capt. Howard Wright told KTVU. "The Coast Guard focuses on rescue activities to find a live person and we suspend the search when we are no longer confident that we're going to be able to rescue the victim."

Wright also told CBS, "When we're no longer confident that we're able to rescue a victim alive, we will suspend the search." 

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The family is offering $50,000 to anyone who locates the missing child who they say was last wearing a white shirt and green shorts.

"Anyone with specialized equipment like boars, sonars, planes, submersible, diving/SCUBA gear who can deploy, please do so now as time is essential," the missing poster says. "We will independently fund any effort needed to recover Arunay after definitive identification."

They also set up a GoFundMe page to pay for an independent search effort. They closed donations after raising $179,324.

As of Thursday night, Arunay's family shared that they used the GoFundMe money to hire "a number of drones teams," a beachcombing team, a boat team and a plane and helicopter to search for the 12-year-old. 

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