Searchers still looking for free diver missing off Laguna Beach

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Posted by on September 12, 2008 at 11:36:18:

In Reply to: Search is on for missing freediver in Laguna Beach posted by on September 12, 2008 at 11:33:18:

Man who was spearfishing has been missing since Thursday evening.

LAGUNA BEACH Several agencies are continuing to search offshore waters this morning, looking for a free diver who went missing Thursday evening while spearfishing, authorities said.

Using fire boats, helicopters and a snorkel and dive team, officials began searching for the man at 6:20 p.m. Thursday, when he was first reported missing, said Ensign Stephanie Young, public affairs officer for the U.S. Coast Guard.

At 10:30 a.m. today, two boats, a helicopter and three divers were visible near the coast near Wesley Drive.

The man, a Buena Park man whose identity has not been released by authorities, was spearfishing with two other men near Aliso Creek, Young said. The Laguna Beach Police Department contacted the Coast Guard, which launched a helicopter from its Los Angeles station and a 41-foot patrol boat from Long Beach.

Snorkel and dive teams from the Laguna Beach Lifeguards have also been sent out to sea to search for the man.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department is assisting in the search as well, sending a fire boat to try to find the man, said Lt. Ted Boyne of the Sheriff's Department.

Officials searched until 1 a.m. this morning, and began the search again at sunrise, Young said.

At 8:10 a.m., the Coast Guard suspended its search after "exhausting all of their models," she said.

Coast Guard officials take into account time, conditions and other factors to determine the survivability of the victim, she said. Search teams have not found signs of the missing man since the search began and the Coast Guard suspended its efforts.

If new information is found, the Coast Guard will resume searching.

As of 9:45 a.m., officials with the Laguna Beach Police, Laguna Beach Lifeguards and the Sheriff's Department were still searching the water.

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