PACIFICA (CBS SF) – U.S. Coast Guard crews have suspended a search in the water near a hotel in Pacifica for a 28-year-old man who went missing while on an early-morning swim with friends early Tuesday morning.
The swimmer reportedly went missing around 3:30 a.m. near the Lighthouse Hotel near Rockaway Beach as the man and two other friends were trying to escape rough waters that felt as if it was pulling them under, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Jordan Akiyama said.
Pacifica police first arrived on the scene and searched for 40-45 minutes around 3:30 a.m. before calling in the Coast Guard.
In a statement, Pacifica police said the missing swimmer, identified as Tyler Collins of Merced County, was staying at the hotel with friends.
“It was reported that the small group of friends staying at a nearby hotel had been at the beach when two of them decided to go into the surf,” the release stated. “They were about 50 feet from shore when they realized one of their friends who had gone into the water was missing. They searched the beach and surrounding area without success and then called the police.”
The search for Collins was called off around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. Crews had searched for 15 hours and covered 66 square miles.
Collins is described as a white male with brown hair, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, last seen wearing black boxer shorts.
The water temperature and surf in the area can be challenging for those unfamilar as well as the experienced. “As we all know, the water is very cold and hypothermia sets in, said Pacifica Police Capt. Joe Spanheimer. “It’s very difficult conditions for even an experienced swimmer.”
A 47-motor lifeboat from U.S. Coast Guard Station Golden Gate in Sausalito and an aircraft from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco were en route to the scene.
Akiyama didn’t know if the other two swimmers were injured.
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