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Search for missing swimmer near Dana Point called off

September 3, 2012 |  5:49 pm

The search for a swimmer missing for more than 24 hours in the rough ocean surf off the Dana Point coastline was called off late Monday afternoon by three Orange County agencies.

Frank Daniel Austin, 34, of Rowland Heights, was reported missing by his mother about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, about three hours after he entered the water, according to Capt. Steve Doan of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Coast Guard and Orange County lifeguards, launched a search by air and sea until about 10 p.m., when it was too dark to continue. The search resumed at dawn Monday.

Lifeguards could not attempt a scuba dive because of the rough surf, which was breaking up to 9 feet, but might do so when conditions improve, said Jason Young, lifeguard chief. On Monday, searchers were still hampered by high surf, strong currents and poor visibility, he said.

Young said Austin was presumed dead but that lifeguards would continue to look for remains on their regular patrols of the Salt Creek area coastline.

 “Lifeguards will still patrol the entire coast by foot and in patrol units until something shows up,” he said.


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-- Teresa Watanabe