Coast Guard suspends search for missing swimmer near Ocean Beach

47-Foot Motor LIfeboat file photo

47-Foot Motor Lifeboat file photo

SAN FRANCISCO — The Coast Guard suspended its search Wednesday for a 19-year-old man who went missing off Ocean Beach Tuesday evening.

The Coast Guard suspended its search after searching for approximately 13 1/2 hours while covering approximately 180 miles.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the missing man,” said Capt. Tony Ceraolo, Coast Guard Sector San Francisco commander. “This case is a reminder of how dangerous the ocean can be and how quickly swimmers and beachgoers can get into trouble.”

Coast Guard Sector San Francisco watchstanders received a 911 relay call from the man’s friend around 7:30 p.m., Tuesday evening reporting the man went swimming just south of the Cliff House restaurant earlier in the evening but did not return, and that the man’s cell phone and other belongings were still on the beach.

Sector San Francisco watchstanders dispatched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, as well as the Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye (WPB-87337), an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat on patrol from Bodega Bay, to search the area. Waterside assets were on scene by 8:12 p.m., and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched to conduct searches in the area Tuesday evening but secured its search due to heavy fog and limited visibility.

The Sockeye remained on scene conducting searches throughout the night, and was relieved early Wednesday morning by a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Golden Gate.

The San Francisco Fire Department utilized spotters to conduct searches in the surf and along the shoreline, and a National Park Service crew also assisted in the search efforts.

Units involved in the search include:

  • 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Golden Gate
  • Coast Guard Cutter Sockeye, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Bodega Bay
  • MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco
  • San Francisco Fire Department crew
  • National Park Service crew

“Early notification of a maritime distress is essential in the Bay Area due to the cold water temperatures and often dangerous surf conditions,” said Ceraolo. “We ask that mariners and beachgoers be vigilant and call the Coast Guard or 911 at the first signs of a person in distress. Along the same lines, we encourage all recreational water users to monitor the air and water temperatures and dress appropriately, as well as wear personal flotation devices when swimming in surf zones such as Ocean Beach.”

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