While the U.S. Coast Guard searches for the body of an 18-year-old feared dead following an ill-fated trip to Mission Beach, the teen’s loved ones are paying tribute to him as a hero.
Woodlain Zachee-Prudhome, who graduated from Crawford High School in San Diego just two days ago, went to Mission Beach with friends on Tuesday to celebrate their accomplishment. Zachee-Prudhome and two other teens were swimming in the ocean when he became caught in a rip current, according to San Diego Lifeguards.
Crews searched for him through the evening until the sun went down. They continued their recovery effort Wednesday morning and have been in the water since.
Zachee-Prudhome is a brother, honors graduate and basketball player. Friends started a memorial underneath a lifeguard tower near where he went missing. His initials appeared in a heart on a large mound of sand next to his jersey number, 21. Flowers and some of his favorite snacks were also left in the sand.
Wednesday afternoon, Crawford High School tweeted out Zachee-Prudhome's senior picture. A basketball scout told NBC 7 that Zachee-Prudhome had "raw" and unreachable physical talent.
According to a family member, the teen saved his friend from a large wave and was swept into the ocean.