GoFundMe page set to assist Jonnalagadda’s family with funeral costs, medical bills, and other expenses
An Indian-American father of two, who had taken his family for an outing at a beach in California, died while rescuing his child from a riptide at Panther State Beach in Santa Cruz County.
Srinivasa Murthy Jonnalagadda, who did not know how to swim, managed to rescue his son, but was then dragged by the riptide into deeper waters and drowned as his family helplessly bore witness to the tragedy last Monday.
He was then boarded onto a California Highway Patrol helicopter and taken to the Stanford Hospital where he died later, FOX KTVU reported. Another man, who helped Jonnalagadda rescue his son, however, got out of the water on his own without any injuries.
READ: Drunk Indian American woman plows into Florida beach (May 29, 2023)
Multiple agencies were dispatched to Panther State Beach just after 6 pm last Monday when Jonnalagadda entered the water to rescue his minor son who was unable to get out of the water, California Fire said on Twitter.
“Unexpectedly a large wave came and knocked his son down and subsequent large waves began to drag him into the ocean,”
according to a fundraiser set up by family and friends seeking help. “He ran to save his son when he realized that the child was struggling to get out of the water.”
GoFundMe has called for donations to assist Jonnalagadda’s family with immediate expenses such as funeral costs, medical bills, and other unforeseen financial obligations.
“Dear Friends and Community,
“It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that Srinivasa Murthy Jonnalagadda, a loving husband and father of two young children tragically lost his life on May 29th, 2023 while saving his child from a treacherous riptide at Panther Beach, Santa Cruz.” the page read.
“Srinivasa’ world revolved around his wife and his two children, age 9 and 13. He had taken his family to a nearby beach on kids’ request on Monday evening with no intentions of getting into water. While his family was enjoying the ambiance his son was exploring the shore and suddenly tragedy struck.
“Unexpectedly a large wave came and knocked his son down and subsequent large waves began to drag him into the ocean. Upon seeing and hearing this, Srinivasa suddenly realized that his son was struggling to get out of the water.
“Despite not knowing how to swim, he ran into the waters to help his son out to safety. Through the help of a good Samaritan, Srinivasa was able to successfully assist in the rescue of his son.
“He however was unfortunately dragged by the riptide into deeper waters and horrifically drowned as his family helplessly bore witness. Emergency personnel were able to eventually retrieve him and proceeded to airlift him to Stanford Hospital Emergency Department in Palo Alto.
“Despite unwavering dedication of the medical professionals involved, he tragically succumbed and was pronounced deceased at Stanford Hospital.”
GoFundMe described Jonnalagadda as “a man of action, always putting his family first, and a fun-loving soul with a highly positive outlook. His willingness to help others knew no boundaries and he never refused anyone needing assistance of any kind. Srinivasa and his wife were actively involved in community service and positively impacted many lives with their support and kindness.”
“Srinivasa is survived by his wife and two children. His wife and young children are now left with a daunting challenge of navigating life without their beloved husband and father,” it noted.
“Today we have an opportunity to honor his memory by extending our support to his grieving family. By contributing to this GoFundMe campaign, you can make a very meaningful difference in the lives of this mourning household,” GoFundMe stated.
“Your generous donations will assist with immediate expenses such as funeral cost, medical bills, and other unforeseen financial obligations.
“Together, we can offer them the assistance and comfort they need during this unimagined time. Your donation, no matter the amount, will make a meaningful impact. We thank you for your help, support, and your prayers in this time of need,” it said.