Unified Command searches for person in L.A. Harbor

WILMINGTON, Calif. — The Coast Guard supported a maritime unified command which was established following a report of a person in the water near Port of Los Angeles Berth 196 late Thursday and into today.

A report of a male in the water at the Wallenius Wilhelmsen shipping terminal in Wilmington was received by Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach Command Center at approximately 7:30 p.m. Thursday evening. A MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles, a 25-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Los Angeles-Long Beach, and a facility security team from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach responded to the scene.

The subject had gained unauthorized access to the shipping terminal by jumping a fence and had reportedly walked along the pier as an inbound vessel was in the process of berthing. According to eyewitnesses, the man jumped into the water and was not seen again.

The maritime unified command consisted of representatives from the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles Port Police. The Los Angeles Port Police conducted exhaustive searches both above and below the water. Shortly after midnight, crews identified a body on the sea floor.

The body was recovered by the Los Angeles Port Police and transported to a nearby Los Angeles Fire Station. The individual was pronounced dead by the Los Angeles County Coroner. Next of kin notifications have been completed.

The circumstances surrounding the incident remain under investigation.

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