Ocean search for missing Navy man continues

CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) – Lifeguards, Coast Guard crews and Marine Corps personnel searched the ocean and miles of shoreline in the far northern reaches of San Diego County Friday for a Navy petty officer who went missing during a recreational swim off the coast of Camp Pendleton.

The serviceman, a Kentucky native in his 20s whose name was withheld, was in the surf with another sailor when he was swept out to sea about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Officials suspect he may have gotten caught in a rip current.

Lifeguards from several area cities joined the federal maritime agency and Marine Corps crews in scanning miles of ocean and coastline through the evening and overnight, finding no sign of the missing man, a member of the Camp Pendleton-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

As of this afternoon, a Coast Guard cutter and a Marine helicopter continued the ocean search, with military personnel and lifeguards aiding on land, USCG Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said.

Despite the amount of time the sailor had been missing, Marine officials remained “optimistic that there's still a chance we'll find him alive and rescue him,” said USMC Capt. Roger Hollenbeck, a base spokesman.

The 11th MEU planned to continue searching at least until sundown if necessary, Hollenbeck said.

Categories: KUSI