Families mourn teens lost in Ocean Beach surf

Two Vallejo teens who were swept out to sea at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach on Saturday are presumed dead and their friends and family are grappling with their sudden and tragic loss.

Social media posts identified the two teens as Wayne Ausa and Grisham Duran, two teens with an interest in engineering who were pulled out by a wave while wading into the ocean with three of their friends on Saturday afternoon.

Ausa’s older brother, Stephen Ausa, wrote on Facebook Sunday:

“It hurts not having you here. … R.I.P. baby brother I love you Wayne Ausa and Grisham thank you for being a genuine true friend.”

The five Vallejo teens had locked arms as they walked into the surf on a sunny day of record high temperatures in San Francisco. But the ocean surf there can be treacherous and even ankle-deep water can have strong enough currents to pull an adult in, according to the fire department.

A wave knocked them down, forced the boys’ arms apart, and dragged in Ausa and Duran. The other three managed to swim to shore and were taken to a hospital.

Firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the beach at about 4:20 p.m., scouring the area with lifeboats, rescue swimmers and a helicopter. But they called off the search that night, fearing Ausa and Duran could have been swept miles from shore and that it could take weeks before their bodies drift back.

Vallejo history teacher Brandan Harris posted on Facebook Sunday that that the school district was working on how to assist the teens’ classmates in coping with their loss:

“An entire community is hurting because we lost two amazing kids. …┬áThese kids mean so much to me and to see them in pain over the loss of two of their close friends is saddening.”

Stephen Ausa set up a GoFundMe page to help his family cover expenses in the coming weeks and months that had raised $470 as of this morning. The page is available at https://www.gofundme.com/94znawqk.