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Search called off for missing boater

May 5, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Coast Guard has called off the search for a boater who disappeared somewhere between San Pedro and Catalina Island Sunday.Lawrence Nash of Redondo Beach, took off from the Cabrillo Beach Marina boat launch in San Pedro aboard a 12-foot skiff on Sunday morning. He was believed to be going fishing, and was last seen about half a mile offshore at a bait barge.

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  • From there, it is a straight course, 22 miles due west to Catalina. But somewhere along the way, Nash apparently ran into trouble, and place a call to someone on Catalina, who then called the Coast Guard.

    "We got notified that they went out to find this man and assist him," said Coast Guard Lieutenant Jim Hiltz, "He just reported that he was disabled and not in any distress, but when they got on scene he was nowhere to be found."

    The channel between San Pedro and Catalina can be rough, and the Coast Guard says conditions on Sunday were less than ideal, with a small craft advisory in effect.

    "It's a warning, telling them that the winds and seas are not suitable for small crafts to be out on the ocean," said Hiltz.

    The Coast Guard launched rescue boats, along with a helicopter and a C-130 airplane to search the area.

    At Nash's last known position, they found debris, including an oil can, a water cooler, and seat cushions, but no signs of Nash's boat.

    Using computer drift models to locate areas Nash might have floated to, the Coast Guard searched more than 600 square miles over a period of 23 hours, but did not find anything.

    Monday afternoon, they ended the search, and said they had no plans to resume it.

    Late Monday, Nash's car and boat trailer remain parked at the San Pedro marina.

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