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SAN MATEO COUNTY – Authorities were searching Monday evening for a 12-year-old boy who was swept into the ocean at Cowell Ranch State Beach in San Mateo County.

The 12-year-old boy was standing with an 8-year-old boy and a man on the beach about 3:45 p.m. when they were swept into the ocean, said Cecile Juliette, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit.

The younger boy and the man were beaten up by the waves and pushed back to the beach, but the older boy was pulled under about 100 yards offshore, Juliette said.

The U.S. Coast Guard and California Highway Patrol were using helicopters to search for the boy, Juliette said.

Juliette said conditions at the beach were “incredibly poor.”

“They might have thought they had a good distance between themselves and the water, but it can be that one wave that doesn’t look any different than any other wave until it’s grabbing you by the ankles, knocking you off your feet and pulling you into the water,” Juliette said.

“You really have to leave a good distance between yourself and the water,” she continued. “It’s happening way too often.”

About an hour before the search kicked off, an adult and two children were seen struggling in the water at Ross Cove Beach roughly 14 miles to the north, Cal Fire said in a tweet. They were rescued and reported to be in stable condition.

Check back for updates.