TOMALES BAY (CBS SF & AP) — Authorities have called off the search for the owner of the Tomales Bay Oyster Company who is believed to have fallen off a skiff and into the waters of the Bay.

Marin County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Doug Pittman told the Press Democrat that the waters had been thoroughly search for 70-year-old Charles Friend, who was wearing waders when he was last seen on the skiff Tuesday afternoon.

“As of right now, we’ve exhausted all of what we refer to as areas of probability, to where he may be located,” Pittman told the paper. “The biggest thing we were working against was the water… We’re confident that we have searched all the areas of highest probability of where he would be located, based on where he was last seen.”

Friend dropped off one of his work crews moments before the empty skiff was seen going in circles on the Bay. There was no sign of Friend.

A search by a group of 75 friends, employees and strangers began immediately and was later joined by the Coast Guard and local law enforcement officers.

Pittman told the paper that Friend was well loved in the community.

“It’s amazing how well known and how well liked he was,” Pittman said. “Everyone wanted to do something to try to help. He was well loved in the community, so there were people in kayaks, in private single-engine boats.”

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