Two UC Santa Cruz students are missing

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor George Blumenthal

I am deeply saddened to inform you that two of our students are missing after being swept into the ocean near Bonny Doon Beach late Monday afternoon.

Shireen Agha Ahsan, 19, a Kresge College sophomore from Palo Alto, and Ahmad Solaiman Nourzaie, 25, a College Nine senior from San Jose, majoring in Earth and planetary sciences, were hiking with friends and classmates when the tragedy occurred. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to their families, friends, and classmates at this very difficult time.

Ms. Ahsan and Mr. Nourzaie were early in their college and professional careers with promising futures ahead. It is heartbreaking to think they may no longer be with us.

According to reports, they were with a group of UC Santa Cruz students who had climbed down to Bonny Doon Beach. They were on a rock outcropping with another student when a large wave swept all three into the ocean. One made it to shore but despite an extensive search by several emergency response agencies in very difficult conditions neither Ms. Ahsan nor Mr. Nourzaie have been found. The search was suspended last night.

Families and friends have organized a prayer vigil for 2 p.m. this afternoon at Bonny Doon Beach.

We also want to extend support to all students, faculty, and staff who are in need. Tragic news can be difficult to process. We encourage students who wish to speak with someone to contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (831) 459-2628.  Faculty and staff may wish to call for information on the Employee Assistance Program at (831) 459-3573.