Searchers found the body of a young man in Oceanside Thursday, after a swimmer was reported missing hours earlier off the coast of Carlsbad.
Lifeguards launched a search for the swimmer Wednesday night who vanished, leaving his car behind in a nearby parking lot.
Just after dawn the next morning, a passerby spotted the body of a 21-year-old man about 20 yards off shore near Cassidy Beach, located just south of Oceanside Pier. The location was less than two miles north of the spot where the man was first reported missing.
The person who saw him pulled the victim to shore and called 911.
The Medical Examiner's office was called. Officials said the body matched the description of the missing man.
Family members told NBC 7 the victim's name is David Velasco and he was from Vista.
The search began around 7:30 p.m. in waters near the 3100 block of Carlsbad Boulevard. The swimmer’s brother reported him missing, saying he hadn’t seen him in more than three hours.
The brothers were in knee-deep water with boogie boards when they were hit by a large wave, a park official told NBC 7.
The official said current along this part of the coast was very strong Wednesday and was expected to be so again Thursday.
Lifeguards called in backup for the night search. U.S. Coast Guard officials were asked to assist, as well as the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department ASTREA helicopter.
Dive teams searched the waters about 15 to 20 feet off the coast. Officials asked spectators and beachgoers to clear the area while lifeguards search.
Along with shock and sadness among his family comes a warning for swimmers.
Residents in the area say there are lots of children who swim there, and while the water is shallow, the beach has a very steep profile.
"It becomes very deep very quickly. The long shore currents are very strong," said Robin Greene, the state park superintendent.
She urged swimmers to stay near lifeguards who know about changing conditions.