A 17-year-old Syrian refugee is believed to have drowned in Mission Beach in San Diego.
Mohammed al-Mustafa and his family escaped war-torn Aleppo to live their new life in the United States.
Family friend Lisa Attardo said Mohammed had begged his mother to go to the beach with his friends so long as he didn't go into the water.
Attardo says he couldn't swim and that he may have been knocked down in the knee deep ocean water.
Helicopters and rescue workers searched for Mohammed for three days with no success in locating his body.
The family came to San Diego early this year.
Executive director of Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego Robert Moser helped them settle into their new life.
He says Mohammed's family is a shining example of what refugees are all about.
"They had a plan for their future ... and great prospects for success...They suffered a lot. They made many sacrifices. They know what they need to do to survive."