Friends, family mourn drowning death of teen in Encinitas

ENCINITAS (CNS) – Friends and family Thursday mourned a 17-year-old Guatemalan boy who was visiting relatives in San Diego County when he was carried out by a riptide at Moonlight Beach in an incident that also left his uncle critically injured.

The teen was found unresponsive in the ocean at the Encinitas beach on May 29, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Lifeguards resuscitated him before paramedics took him to to Scripps Memorial Hospital, where he remained in a coma until his condition declined and he was pronounced dead at 5:47 p.m. Monday, the M.E.’s Office reported late Wednesday.

A group of students from Santa Fe Christian in Solana Beach holding a school party at the beach first spotted the teen and his uncle in distress, pulled them from the water and alerted lifeguards.

Chris North, whose daughter was of those students, told UT San Diego that the teen’s uncle, a legal resident who worked as a landscaper to send money to his wife and children in Guatemala, remained on life-support. His nephew arrived in town just a few days earlier and his family was hoping he would stay awhile and go to school here, North said.

The students have set up a web page — — to raise money to send the teen’s remains home to Guatemala and to help the family with other needs.

The students feel a lasting bond and want to “lift these people up physically and spiritually as they need it,” North said.

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