U.S. Coast Guard Calls Off Search for Missing Boater, Sheriff's Department Continues Efforts

One of the two men on board swam safely to shore after wave toppled boat during nighttime lobster fishing

The U.S. Coast Guard called off search efforts for a missing boater Saturday morning while the Ventura County Sheriff's Department continued their search in the waters near Ventura after his boat capsized.

Two men were lobster fishing outside the Ventura Harbor around 8:39 p.m. Friday when their  15-foot skiff was hit with a 5-foot wave and overturned outside of the rock groin on Greenock Lane, adjacent to Marina Park, the Ventura County Fire Department said.

The two men, both in their 60s, attempted to swim to shore, but were separated, the fire department said.

According to fire officials, one of the men made it to shore and got help from a resident of Greenock Lane who called 911 when the other man was not found.

Ventura City firefighters began a multi-pronged search for the missing man — from the shore, in the ocean, on the jetty and in the air — with support from other agencies.

Six ocean swimmers were searching the surf line where the missing man was last seen when one of the swimmers was bumped by a 6-foot great white shark.

The Ventura County Fire Department said that while none of the rescuers were injured, all swimmers were removed from the water and the search continued from the shore and by air and boat.

The search for the missing boater continued for more than two hours until conditions were to complicated to continue.

Just before midnight, the search was turned over to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. 

While the Coast Guard ended their search at 8:30 a.m., the Ventura County Sheriff's Department later said they would continue their efforts as long as water conditions held up.

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