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Authorities Release Name of Teen That Drown at Moonlight Beach

Gerardo Cruz-Manuel, of Guatemala, was visiting family when he was caught in a riptide.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Authorities today released the name of a 17-year-old Guatemalan boy visiting relatives in San Diego County who was caught in a riptide at Moonlight Beach in an incident that killed him and left his uncle critically injured.

Gerardo Cruz-Manuel 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. He was pronounced dead at 5:47 p.m. Monday.

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 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 -- gofundme.com/moonlightrescue -- to raise money to send the teen's remains home to Guatemala and to help the family with other needs.

—City News Service

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