Possible California shark attack victim identified as 52-year-old male as photo is released of search
The National Park Service says local agencies are still searching for a swimmer who went missing in California waters following a reported shark attack, despite the Coast Guard calling off its effort.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, the Point Reyes National Seashore wrote Monday afternoon that the “Search continues for [a] missing swimmer off Wildcat Beach,” sharing a photo of a boat in the water and helicopter in the air.
“The 52-year-old male was swimming with two friends. Witness reports seeing a shark but an attack is still unconfirmed,” it added, describing the alleged incident on Sunday. “Ground & water search efforts continue w/ local agency support.”
The Coast Guard was involved in the search up until Monday morning, according to The Associated Press.
“We didn’t find the individual so there’s no way for us to confirm whether or not it was a shark attack,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Hunter Schnabel told the news agency.
Marin County firefighters determined that three men went for a swim at Wildcat Beach on Sunday when one of them was attacked by a shark, according to CBS San Francisco.
The other swimmers told first responders that there was a large pool of blood in the water and that they were swimming between 25 and 50 yards from the shoreline, the station added.
“To my knowledge, yeah, this could be the first fatal shark attack [in the Marin County area]. But we’re hopeful that he’ll be found,” Marin County Fire Department Senior Captain Ben Ghisletta told CBS San Francisco.
Authorities also said to the station that the three swimmers, including the missing swimmer, were camping with up to 15 others at an area near the beach.
“Wildcat Beach is a 2.9-miles-long beach deep within the Phillip Burton Wilderness in the southern part of the national seashore,” the National Park Service says on its website.
“Hypothermia (the ocean water may be as low as 50°F [10°C]), sneaker waves, and rip currents are just a few beach hazards of which visitors should be aware while visiting Point Reyes Beaches,” the site adds.