RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. (KABC) --A swimmer was swept away by a wave at Abalone Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes Wednesday afternoon.
Los Angeles County lifeguards responded to reports of two swimmers in distress near Palos Verdes and Peppertree drives around 2:57 p.m.
Toogee Zepeda said he and his friends were jumping into the surf when a tide picked up and pulled his friend Cheapy underwater.
"Out of instinct I just jumped in and I tried to save him, but I couldn't carry him on my back. I couldn't swim back," Zepeda said, adding that he put his friend on a rock and told him to stay put. When Zepeda came back, Cheapy, 18, was "nowhere too be seen".
A multi-agency search effort involving L.A. County Fire, L.A. City Fire, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Coast Guard ensued. The search was called off just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, and was set to resume Thursday morning.
According to L.A. County lifeguards, dozens have been rescued from the water in the last three days. Lifeguards rescued a swimmer who was stranded on the rocks Tuesday. At least five others were pulled to safety on a lifeguard boat.
Zepeda said he and about eight other recent graduates from Jordan and Lakewood high schools go cliff diving on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
"We didn't think much of it," Zepeda said.
CNS contributed to this report.