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Swimmer still missing off Seal Beach as big surf hits coast

August 31, 2011 | 11:11 pm

 

A swimmer was still missing late Wednesday off Seal Beach as a helicopter continued to search area waters, officials said.

The swimmer, a man believed to be in his early 20s, was last seen about 200 yards offshore in the Surfside area after swimming out with several friends shortly before 6 p.m., officials said. 

Seal Beach lifeguard supervisor Mark Lees told The Times that lifeguards had suspended their water search but that a helicopter was continuing the operation.

A huge south swell was beginning to hit Southern California beaches, but the waves were only in the 2-to-3-foot range when the boogie boarders went out, officials said.

Late Wednesday, the surf had increased to about 5 feet amid a rising tide, officials said.

Earlier, rescue boats from the U.S. Coast Guard and Orange County Sheriff's Department were assisting in the efforts. Officials said the boats would resume searching in the morning.

ALSO:

High tides flood streets near Balboa Pier      

High-surf warning issued for local beaches      

Shark sighting closes stretch of beach in La Jolla

— Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Video: KTLA report on the missing boogie boarder.

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