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Search suspended for kayaker missing off Orange County coast [Updated]

August 7, 2011 | 11:56 am

Kayaker The Coast Guard on Saturday night suspended its search along the Southern California coast for a 53-year-old kayaker who hasn't been seen since leaving Newport Beach on Wednesday.

The 52-hour search covered 2,446 square miles of water by boat, helicopter and airplane, reaching as far away as Catalina Island, but failed to find any sign of the missing man or his green kayak.

The man, whose name has not been released, told family members Wednesday he was taking his kayak out near Newport Harbor for a few hours and that was the last they heard from him, authorities said. The family told Coast Guard officials he is an experienced kayaker who rarely wears a life jacket.

[Updated at 12:11 p.m. Aug. 7: The Coast Guard has identified the missing kayaker as Marc Cross.]

The man's vehicle was found parked near a boat ramp on Newport Beach's Balboa Peninsula with his wallet still inside, said Coast Guard Lt. Sean Arumae.

The suspension does not mean authorities have given up on finding him.

"If the kayak shows up on the beach or if there's an indication of wreckage, we could continue that search," Arumae said. "As long as there's any sort of reason to believe that someone might be out there and can be found, then we will continue."

The missing man's family described him as "a mariner with a great respect for the ocean and an understanding of its power," Arumae said. "Basically he wouldn't go out there and do anything stupid."


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-- Tony Barboza

Photo: Kayakers paddle in Newport Harbor, a popular spot for the sport. Boating experts caution participants to wear flotation devices. Credit: Jamie Rector / For The Times