Search suspended for swept-away students

After 22 hours, the United States Coast Guard has suspended the search for two college students who were swept out to sea Monday at Bonny Doon Beach near Davenport in Santa Cruz County.

The victims, a 20-year-old woman from Palo Alto and a 25-year-old man from the San Jose area, are students at the University of California at Santa Cruz, according to sheriff’s deputies.

The 22-hour search covered 46 square miles before it was suspended today, Coast Guard officials said.

Firefighters responded to a cliff at the southern end of the beach around 5 p.m. Monday.

Five UCSC students had gone down to the beach, and three went out to a rocky outcropping where they were swept into the ocean by a wave. One made it back to shore, but the other two remain missing.

With three people back on shore, one climbed to safety with a rope and firefighters staged a cliff rescue to bring the other two up.

Tides were high at the time, with waves estimated at 10 to 15 feet, and big surf is expected for the next two weeks. Anyone going near the water is urged to use caution.