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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 3:45 pm | Fair 55º


Search Called Off for Man Who Fell Into Ocean at Point Sal State Beach

The 32-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was last seen being carried down coast

A full day of searching Monday yielded no sign of a man who fell into the ocean the previous day at remote Point Sal State Beach.
A full day of searching Monday yielded no sign of a man who fell into the ocean the previous day at remote Point Sal State Beach. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A full day of looking on land and in the sea ended without any sign of a man who fell into the ocean the previous day in northern Santa Barbara County as officials Monday night announced the active search would be stopped.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the man submerged under water and did not resurface at the remote section of coastline near Point Sal State Beach.

The Coast Guard was notified at 4:32 p.m. Sunday as a multi-agency search began.

The 32-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was last seen wearing a white shirt and blue pants, and reportedly was being carried toward Minuteman Beach on north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

"Multiple air and surface search and rescue crews searched for more than 22 hours within a 135 square-mile area to locate the missing person," Coast Guard officials said.

"The search is suspended pending further developments," Coast Guard officials said, adding active search efforts stopped at 7:22 p.m. Monday.

Crews from Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue, Guadalupe Fire Department and Vandenberg searched for the missing man until sunset Sunday forced them to suspend efforts for the night.

Searchers resumed looking for the missing man Monday morning.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue team members were among those rejoining efforts Monday, before stopping their land search in the afternoon, spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.

“Their services were requested for today, and they’re on standby in case they’re requested again,” Hoover said Monday evening.

Coast Guard vessels remained overnight Sunday and also resumed searching Monday, a spokeswoman said. 

Helicopters from Santa Barbara County, the California Highway Patrol and the Coast Guard also searched from above for a couple of hours Sunday.

The Coast Guard launched a 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Morro Bay and the Coast Guard Cutter Blacktip, homeported in the Channel Islands Harbor, to participate in the search. 

Access to Point Sal State Beach, just north of Vandenberg AFB, is restricted to pedestrians after rains several years ago washed out the road to reach the the remote section of coastline. 

The area is known for steep cliffs and rocky shoreline with numerous landslides evident.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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