The search for a missing swimmer entered the third day this week with no sign of the man or a body.

Lifeguards, Coast Guard, Sheriff’s deputies and local emergency responders spent three days combing the water off the Santa Monica beach after a lifeguard saw a man disappear below the waves on Tuesday.

According to Los Angeles County Lifeguard spokesman Pono Barnes a swimmer was about 110-120 yards offshore when the man began waving his arms and asking for help at about 11:02 a.m. on Tuesday.  A lifeguard saw the swimmer between Towers 9 and 10 near the California Incline and immediately swam out, but the swimmer went below the water before help arrived.

In the first response, dive teams were mobilized including three lifeguard rescue boats, helicopter support and additional resources from the Santa Monica Harbor Patrol, Fire Department and Police Department. High winds and rough seas forced lifeguards to suspend the dive portion of the search on Tuesday but a Marine Technical Search Team continued to scan the ocean floor with specialized sonar equipment and the search efforts began again Wednesday morning.

Twenty-eight divers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) searched underwater for a total of approximately 42 hours, but were unable to locate the missing swimmer.

Search efforts continued into the evening with sheriff’s boats and helicopters patrolling the coastal region and surrounding area looking for the swimmer.

Two sheriff’s boats and Air 5 Rescue helicopter supporting dive operations assisted with surface search operations Thursday. Divers have a limit to the amount of time they can spend underwater per day and the dive portion of the search concluded at about noon Thursday with no sign of the man.

According to Barnes, local lifeguards will have additional patrols in the search area for the next few days but no additional staff or equipment will be assigned to the situation.

Barnes said there were no boats in the area when the swimmer went missing and there was no information about how the swimmer got into trouble. Rip currents were seen in the approximate area but no conclusions could be drawn as to what happened. According to the Santa Monica Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department no missing person reports have been filed since the swimmer was last seen and officers have no information regarding their identity.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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