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Teen goes missing after slipping into blowhole at California beach

Carmel, Calif. — A Monterey County teen is feared dead after he slipped and fell through into a blowhole while hiking along the beach with friends, CBS San Francisco reports. The frantic moments were caught on camera showing friends searching for 18-year-old Braxton Stuntz.

"Where was he last?" someone asked on video.

Another person gestured 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 nine 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.

Garrapata Beach, Carmel- January 12th, an 18 year old male and his friends were hiking along the trails at Garrapata State Beach when they came across a blowhole near the cliffs along the Pacific Coast. A closer inspection by the young adult lead to a tragedy when he slipped and fell through the hole onto the rocky beach below. 14 foot waves that were 9 seconds apart filled up the area and swept him out then underwater. His friends immediately sought help which brought a multitude of agencies together In attempts to locate him. Members with MCSO Search and Rescue, Mid-Coast Fire, Cal-Fire, California State Park Rangers/Lifeguards, and CHP Helicopter assisted with search efforts. The United States Coast Guard boat from Monterey sector and Helicopter from San Francisco sector arrived and conducted search patterns well into the night. MCSO drone operators returned Sunday to continue search efforts and MCSO dive is evaluating conditions in order to conduct an underwater search. At this time the young adult is classified as a missing person, however, operations have shifted into a recovery mode. JV

Posted by Monterey County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, January 13, 2019

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 Sunday, but with no success.

Stuntz is now classified as missing. Officials say the search has shifted to recovery mode.