A swimmer who went missing near Manhattan Beach Tuesday afternoon was identified by his uncle as search efforts continued Wednesday.
The 25-year-old man, identified as Derrick Jeffries by the uncle, was in the water near 18th Street when he was last seen at about 5 p.m.
He was wading in the water with two of his friends, who noticed he was not with them when they got to shore, Los Angeles County Fire Department spokeswoman Lidia Barillas said.
His friends waited for him to return from the water but decided to notify lifeguards after about 20 minutes, Barillas said.
A land-and-water search for the swimmer began immediately, Barillas said.
Jeffries’ uncle described him as a “water kid” and experienced swimmer who grew up along the beaches.
Three lifeguard boats, two Coast Guard boats, divers and rescue crews on jet skies were seen Wednesday morning in the area where Jeffries disappeared.
Just before 8:30 a.m., the Coast Guard suspended their search for Jeffries, but stated a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department dive team would continue to conduct operations, according to a news release.
"It is always a difficult decision to end an active search, however, Coast Guard crews saturated the area for 16 hours in search for the missing crewman," said Capt. Jennifer Williams, commanding officer, Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach in a news release.
Helicopters were also being used in the search for Jeffries Wednesday, video showed.
Early Wednesday evening, the Fire Department's Lifeguard Division said divers with specialized equipment were continuing the search.
The division urged swimmers to avoid rip currents, saying they can quickly carry even strong swimmers out to sea.
Jeffries was wearing dark gray shorts, but no life jacket, when he was last seen.
The Hawthorne man served three years in the Army, according to his uncle. He currently serves in the National Guard, the uncle said.
Correction: An earlier version of this article spelled the missing swimmer's name incorrectly. The story has been updated.