The 17-foot Boston Whaler was found washed ashore without a driver near 48th Street and West Oceanfront around 6 p.m. Sunday. This prompted a full-on search by the Coast Guard.
The missing person was identified by the Orange County Sheriff's Department as 47-year-old Newport Beach resident Nicholas Busick. He is described as approximately 6 feet tall, weighing 220 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a dark T-shirt and gray shorts.
Busick's family "indicated he was just going out for a short boat ride" at about 1 p.m. Sunday, said sheriff's Lt. Chris Corn. "There was nothing unusual about that," the lieutenant said, adding that the disappearance has not been deemed suspicious.
The Coast Guard dispatched crews in the air and on the water to search for the Busick. The sheriff's Harbor Patrol, Newport Beach Police Department, Newport Beach Lifeguards and Huntington Beach Police Department personnel were all involved in the search.
The Coast Guard on Monday afternoon suspended its active participation in the search, saying it would rejoin the operation if new evidence was discovered.
Asked if any alcohol was found aboard the boat, authorities said that was still under investigation.
#OCSDPIO Missing boater is identified as Nicholas Busick, 47 years old. He left on his boat yesterday at approximately 1pm. At this time, we do not believe this is suspicious. The search continues. pic.twitter.com/rSXZynGWxP— OC Sheriff, CA (@OCSD) April 23, 2018
The Orange County Sheriff's Department also said that its official search for Busick has been suspended, though Harbor Patrol officials said its patrol boats will continue to look for Busick during their regular patrols.