Enrique Jimenez would be starting Cal Poly this week. He would be experiencing those freshman butterflies and scurrying to find his classes for the first time.
But while attending an event at Montana de Oro for orientation week, Jimenez died three days before his freshman year officially started.
Jimenez is presumed dead by authorities after being knocked into the ocean by a wave on Friday afternoon. As of Monday evening, his body had not been found. Friday was his 18th birthday.
Periodic beach walks are still taking place in hopes of recovering his body.
The Cal Poly freshman was visiting Monta¤a de Oro State Park with the group Orientation for United Raza, a Hispanic-aimed alternative to the Week of Welcome (WOW) orientation program that is affiliated with Cal Poly’s Mexa club. The students were taking part in various social events as part of freshman orientation and were being introduced to San Luis Obispo and the surrounding area.
Jimenez and others climbed a rock at Spooner’s Cove when large waves washed him into the water. Two nearby students jumped into the water to rescue him but were unsuccessful, a Cal Poly press release said.
When they came in from the surf, one had suffered minor cuts and bruises and stayed at the scene. The other student was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center to be treated for cuts and bruises and was released Friday.
One of the students involved was a WOW participant, while Jimenez and the other student were with Orientation for United Raza.
“It was a real tragic incident,” said Ken Barclay, director for Student Life and Leadership. “We always assess orientation programs every year and we don’t want to jump the gun right now, but we want to make sure we assess (this situation).”