Pacific Ocean

Search Called Off for Teen Swept to Sea

As his family continues to wait, the tragic disappearance of Anthony Pernell has led officials to caution beachgoers.

The search for a teenager swept into the the Pacific Ocean from Laguna Beach has been called off.

Orange County search and rescue teams had been searching for Anthony Parnell since last Sunday.

A powerful wave knocked the 18-year-old into the ocean south of Thousand Steps Beach, and area known for its dangerous and rocky coastline. Friends say he was washed into a crevice while standing on slippery rocks.

After using underwater cameras  lifeguards decided to finally call off the search for his body late Thursday.

On the sand almost 300 miles from their Las Vegas home the Pernell family waited at 10th Street Cove Thursday.

According to lifeguards, the water is dark, cold and the depth of a two-story building. On Thursday, they used an underwater camera mounted on a long pole to guide divers into the churning ocean.

"It’s so beautiful, you know?" said beachgoer Robert Loveland.

Loveland said he understands the lure of the cove, and that it's why he wears tennis shoes to stabilize his stance.

"If you're not from around here, or a kid who could lose his balance, I wouldn't suggest it," Loveland said.

All day long beach goers were turned away from the cove area.

"You can be hit by waves, or your access cut off by tides. We don't recommend anyone go there," said Orange County Lifeguards Chief Jason Young.

Lifeguards warn about "sneaker waves,” a huge splash that comes without warning. During high surf extra patrols are assigned up and down the coastline.

The bottom line, officials say, is that If you don't know the area and you're not experienced, stay back play it safe and stay away from jetties and other dangerous areas.

Michael Larkin contributed to this report

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