CARMEL (CBS SF) – A Monterey County teen is feared dead after he slipped and fell through into a blowhole while hiking along the beach with friends.
The frantic moments were caught on camera showing friends searching for 18-year-old Braxton Stuntz.
“Where was he last?” asks someone.
Another person gestures to the rocks.
“So see this hole? He slipped. They’re saying he’s under – over there now.”
Stuntz was hiking with a group of friends Saturday at Garrapata Beach, just south of Carmel, when he suddenly slipped and fell 15 feet down the blowhole.
His friends said he gave them a “thumbs up” and then vanished, as 14-foot waves that were 9 seconds apart crashed around him and swept him out, then underwater.
According to Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, Stuntz’s friends immediately went for help.
Members with MCSO Search and Rescue, Mid-Coast Fire, Cal-Fire, California State Park Rangers/Lifeguards, and CHP Helicopter helped in the search effort.
The U.S. Coast Guard boat and helicopter conducted searches into the night.
Searchers returned on Sunday, but with no success.
Stuntz is now classified as missing. Officials say the search has shifted to recovery mode.