California Swimmer Vanishes Without A Trace At Famous Beach – Feared To Be A Shark Attack Victim
A swimmer in northern California vanished without a trace in the open ocean over the weekend, and now, officials believe he was the victim of a shark attack.
On Sunday, three men went for a swim off Wildcat Beach, which runs along the world-famous Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County. The men were swimming “25 to 50 yards” from the beach per multiple media reports when one of them was reportedly attacked and pulled under.
The other two men apparently didn’t see the attack happen. Instead, per KTVU News and others, they saw the water suddenly “turn red with blood” around them. Alarmed, they both swam back to the shore as fast as they could — and never saw their friend again.
Once they reached the shore, they contacted emergency services. Marin County firefighters responded immediately to search for the third man. Not long after, they were joined by the US Coast Guard, which dispatched two jet skis, a boat, and a helicopter (all pictured searching, above).
Sadly, as of late Sunday evening, the man had not been found. Marin County FD battalion chief Todd Overshriner cryptically said of the search thus far:
“The further amount of time, it decreases the chance of survivability.”
Per KPIX, Coast Guard Lieutenant Rachel Davis added:
“After searching 21 square nautical miles in ideal search conditions, we’ve been unsuccessful so far. The intent here is to continue the search.”
As for the missing swimmer, authorities have not released the man’s identity. All they have revealed to the media is that he is “approximately 50 years old,” and was part of a camping group of “10 to 15 people” who were staying at a camp in the hills just above Wildcat Beach.
Those hills and the beach itself are very popular with hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Local resident Danielle Harnisch spoke about that to local TV news outlets, while adding:
“These waters are extremely dangerous and most locals know not to go for a swim. There’s either a huge drop-off, sharks, rip currents. Wery dangerous. … To my knowledge, this could be the first fatal shark attack , but we are hopeful that he’ll be found.”
Officials still don’t know what type of shark might have been involved in the possible attack. Per the National Park Service, the area around Wildcat Beach is popular with great white sharks annually right around this time of year, when seals and sea lions come up to the shores around there.
Here is more on this tragic and unsettling story (below):
We send our thoughts and prayers to all involved — the swimmers first and foremost, and also to all the rescuers, who were set to continue their search throughout the day on Monday.
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