A 21-foot white striper fishing boat belonging to a missing Oceanside man was found doing doughnuts off the coast of La Jolla early today as the search for the 53-year-old man entered its second day, authorities said.
The boat was found just before 6:30 a.m. about 10 miles northwest of the most northern point of La Jolla, U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Gawrelli said.
It was spotted by the USCG crew of a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter that began searching for the man Monday night. The use of the helicopter was suspended in the pre-dawn hours and had resumed less than 15 minutes before the boat was spotted, according to the petty officer.
As of 8 a.m., the boat was still circling in place and authorities were working on a plan to safely board the vessel, she said, noting they may wait until it runs out of fuel or find a way to disable its engine.
The missing man, a 53-year-old Oceanside resident, was reported missing late Monday afternoon after his dog, which had been with him, was found soaking wet on the beach near an Oceanside jetty.
The USCG reported that a beachgoer found the dog and reached the missing man's wife by calling the phone number listed on the canine's collar. She in turn called Oceanside harbor police around 5:30 p.m. to report her husband was missing, and just after 8 p.m., harbor police called on Coast Guard crews to help search for him.
In addition to the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, the Coast Guard cutter Edisto was used in the search. Gawrelli said the cutter continued to search through the night and was still searching for signs of the man this morning, after his boat was discovered.
The helicopter was also continuing to patrol up and down the shoreline, from Oceanside to La Jolla, in hopes of finding him, she said.
The man's boat is named Lucky Dog. How his dog managed to get from the boat to the beach was a mystery.
"We don't know at this point how the dog got back or how far he may have had to swim," Gawrelli said.
—City News Service