The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for the missing boater who was aboard a burning ship off the coast of Carlsbad, the military branch announced Friday.
Smoke was seen coming a vessel about three miles from the shore of Carlsbad Thursday at about 9 a.m. The Relentless, a 50-foot vessel, left Oceanside Harbor earlier that morning and was heading to Carlsbad before its ill-fated trip, according to the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard crews suspended their search efforts at 8 a.m. Friday, they announced.
“This morning I made the decision to suspend the active search for survivors, which is always an extremely difficult one to make," said Cmdr. Joseph Parker, the Sector San Diego deputy commander. "The Coast Guard and our partners extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, who remain in our thoughts and prayers. I am indebted to our Coast Guard crews and mission partners; Oceanside Police Department and Encinitas Lifeguards, who always put forward maximum effort to save lives at sea."
Authorities believe a single person was on the boat since it wasn’t a commercial or charter vessel. Coast Guard spokesperson Adam Stanton added that the operator of the boat likely used it as his residence.
Helicopter crew scoured the area in hopes of locating the boater and searched more than 600 square miles for him. It is unclear what sparked the fire onboard, but the vessel eventually sank near a depth of about 1,800 feet.
The identity of the person onboard was not released.