Swimmer Disappears Near Santa Monica Pier, Prompting All-Out Search

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A swimmer disappeared in the ocean near the Santa Monica Pier early Sunday morning, spurring an hourslong search by air, land and sea, authorities said.

A swimmer was reported missing near the Santa Monica Pier on March 13, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

A swimmer was reported missing near the Santa Monica Pier on March 13, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Santa Monica Harbor Patrol was alerted to the situation about 3:10 a.m., when someone reported a person in the water under the pier, according to Brian Jordan of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Authorities went to the side of the pier to look into the report, and a witness began screaming that someone in the water had “disappeared,” Jordan said.

Harbor Patrol personnel jumped into the water to look for the swimmer. The search later expanded to include L.A. County fire and Coast Guard helicopters, along with the lifeguard rescue and fire boats.

A boat searches the area around the Santa Monica Pier after a swimmer was reported missing on March 13, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

A boat searches the area around the Santa Monica Pier after a swimmer was reported missing on March 13, 2016. (Credit: KTLA)

Searches like this "can be very difficult, especially when you don’t have a lot of witnesses,” Jordan said. “But we do have people that saw someone in the water; We don’t have somebody who has seen someone come out of the water.”

In the wake of the report, crews scoured mile-long stretches of coastal water and land north and south of the pier, but had turned up nothing after searching for more than six hours, according to the fire official.

Search efforts intensified after dawn, with boats and divers being redeployed into the ocean. A remotely operated vehicle that utilizes sonar was also sent into the water to check out the area around the pier.

A search-and-rescue diver looks out at the ocean before heading into the water to look for a missing swimmer. (Credit: KTLA)

A search-and-rescue diver looks out at the ocean before heading into the water to look for a missing swimmer. (Credit: KTLA)

After searching for more than hour, however, divers again could not locate the missing person, authorities said shortly after 9 a.m.

“Hopefully the person came out, and we just haven’t found that out yet. Hopefully nobody’s in the water," Jordan said.

Multiple agencies are involved in the search, including the U.S. Coast Guard, L.A. County Fire Department Lifeguard Division, L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Santa Monica Harbor Patrol.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Coast Guard at 310-521-3815.