July 20, 2024
A shark attack was described in initial reports of the swimmer's disappearance near Wildcat Beach, but authorities say that remains unconfirmed.

POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE — The search for a swimmer who disappeared in the Pacific Ocean waters near Wildcat Beach this past weekend has reached a grim milestone with officials calling it a “recovery effort” going forward.

A social-media account for Point Reyes National Seashore, operated by the National Park Service, announced the news Tuesday afternoon, noting that the search for the missing 52-year-old man continues, but without the expectation that they will him alive.

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The swimmer, whose identity has not been publicly disclosed, was reported missing around 10:30 a.m. Sunday while swimming with two friends, according to the park service. A search — which was led by the U.S. Coast Guard and included the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, Marin County Fire Department and the park service — was launched after authorities got a report that a swimmer was attacked by a shark and dragged into the water.

While the park service acknowledged witness accounts of a shark sighting, it has not confirmed that an attack took place. The waters are a shark habitat, but officials noted that shark attacks are “uncommon” in the area where the swimmer was reported missing.

Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it suspended its search operation, leaving the search for the missing man to local authorities.

Since 1950, 210 shark attacks and encounters — 15 of them fatal — have been reported off the California coast, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The most recent report was at Bean Hollow State Beach in San Mateo County on Aug. 22, involving a kayaker who was not injured.