Park Service says search for missing Point Reyes swimmer is now a ‘recovery effort’

A shark attack was described in initial reports of swimmer’s disappearance near Wildcat Beach, but authorities say that remains unconfirmed

NATIONAL SEASHORE OF POINT REYES — The search for a swimmer who went missing in the Pacific Ocean near Wildcat Beach last weekend has reached a low point, with officials calling it a recovery effort for the time being.

The National Park Service’s social media account for Point Reyes National Seashore announced the news Tuesday afternoon, noting that the search for the missing 52-year-old man continues, but with no expectation of finding him alive.

According to the park service, the swimmer, whose identity has not been released, went missing around 10:30 a.m. Sunday while swimming with two friends. The US Coast Guard led the search, which included the Marin County Sheriff’s Office, the Marin County Fire Department, and the park service, after authorities received a report that a swimmer had been attacked by a shark and dragged into the water.

While the park service acknowledged witness reports of a shark attack, it has not confirmed that one occurred. Although the waters are a shark habitat, officials say shark attacks are “uncommon” in the area where the swimmer went missing.

The US Coast Guard suspended its search operation on Monday, leaving the search for the missing man to local authorities.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 210 shark attacks and encounters, 15 of which were fatal, have been reported off the California coast since 1950. The most recent incident occurred on August 22 at Bean Hollow State Beach in San Mateo County, involving a kayaker who was not injured.

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