Orange County Lifeguards, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard will conduct air and ground observations for the next several days even though dive teams have ended their effort to recover the body of a 60-year-old man presumed to have drowned while body- surfing in Dana Point, authorities said.
“Dive teams from Orange County Lifeguards and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department have methodically searched the water but have been unable to locate any sign of the missing swimmer,” said sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.
Sunday’s effort was hampered by poor underwater visibility, Hallock said. So after 30 hours of searching, the dive teams ended their search, although lifeguards, sheriff’s deputies and the U.S. Coast Guard will continue their ground and air observations for the next several days.
Friends and family members reported the man missing off Salt Creek Beach near Tower 2 about 11:35 a.m. Saturday, according to the sheriff’s department. He was visiting from out of town, authorities said. His name has not been released.
Crews searched for him until nightfall Saturday and resumed the search at 6 a.m. Sunday, Hallock said.
The man went missing as huge breakers rolled in from a strong south swell, which was producing 5-to 7-foot waves with powerful shore breaks and strong currents, OC Lifeguards Chief Jason Young said.
The swell was generated by Hurricane Lowell, about 1,000 miles away.
“Swimmers are encouraged to use caution when coming to the beach in the next several days and only experienced swimmers (and) surfers should enter the water,” Young said.
Lifeguards also recommended that swimmers check with lifeguards before entering the water and stay near a staffed lifeguard tower if possible.
—City News Service
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