U.S. Marines have joined the search for a Navy Sailor missing off the coast of Oceanside. Lifeguards say the search is now a recovery effort.
The man was last seen swimming with a friend near the Del Mar Boat Basin at 5:30pm Thursday. A spokesman for Camp Pendleton says the two men were swimming towards shore when a strong current swept one of the men out to sea. The other sailor made it to the beach and ran for help.
"It's not a great day for us," said Marine Capt. Roger Hollenbeck.
The search was postponed Thursday night because of darkness, and resumed at first light Friday morning when the status of the search was changed from rescue to recovery. Lifeguards, police, coast guard, and military search crews covered the coastline from Encinitas to San Onofre and out two miles off the coast.
The missing sailor's name is not being released until his family can be notified, but he is described as corpsman from Kentucky stationed at Camp Pendleton. Hollenbeck also said the missing man was a marathon runner.
"I know this sailor as an incredible athlete," he said, "So, for him to not be able to come out of the water would mean that the current was incredibly swift."
Captain Hollenbeck said each agency can decide how long it will continue the search, but at this point the marines will keep looking indefinitely.
"He's one of us. He's out there," said Hollenbeck, "And of course at a time like this our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Dealing with this unknown is a real task."
Check back for updates on this developing story.
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