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Authorities search for missing swimmer in Laguna Beach

June 15, 2009 | 10:30 am

Authorities in Laguna Beach were searching this morning for a missing swimmer who disappeared Sunday after jumping off a cliff into the ocean and trying to swim to shore.

William Barrientos, 22, of Lake Forest, jumped off a rocky cliff near Table Rock Beach and was struggling to get back to land when he went underwater, witnesses told police. Another person tried to swim out to rescue him, but couldn’t, said Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jason Kravetz.

The rocks are marked as being off-limits, Kravetz said.

Laguna Beach police, along with dive teams and lifeguards, started looking for Barrientos shortly after the incident was reported just after 6 p.m. Sunday. They suspended the search when it became dark, but they resumed their efforts early this morning.

“We’re hoping for a rescue situation,” Kravetz said, “but as the hours go by, it’s more and more going to be a recovery.”

-- Paloma Esquivel

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