The search for a Merced County man who went missing off of the California coast has been suspended, officials said Wednesday.
Dos Palos resident Tyler Collins, 28, went missing about 4:20 a.m. Tuesday while swimming off of Rockaway Beach in Pacifica, according to the Pacifica Police Department.
Collins was staying at a nearby hotel with friends when he and another person decided to swim early that morning, police said. They were roughly 50 feet off of the shore when it became clear that Collins was missing.
They searched the beach and surrounding area for about 45 minutes before calling authorities, police said.
Officers and North County Fire Authority firefighters searched the area without success, police said. The U.S. Coast Guard was immediately notified and responded with aircraft and a surface vessel to assist in the search on Tuesday. The effort has since been pulled back.
“There’s not active searching going on. We don’t have personnel stationed at the beaches, but we’re certainly checking the beaches periodically,” Police Capt. Chris Clements said on Wednesday.
The shoreline in San Mateo County is covered in bluffs and hidden beaches, adding to the difficulty of the search, he said. That’s where the Cost Guard’s air support is the most helpful. The Coast Guard also has expertise on water currents.
Coast Guard Lt. Chris Shih said crews suspended the search at about 7:48 p.m. Tuesday as the sun went down. He declined to comment on the chances of finding Collins alive.
“We have suspended the search pending new information,” Shih said on Wednesday.
Collins graduated from Dos Palos High in 2009. He played football for the Broncos as a running back and defensive back.
He wore the same No. 33 jersey that his father, Dean Collins, wore for the Broncos, according to former Dos Palos football coach Mike Sparks. Sparks says they brought the jersey out or retirement so Tyler could wear the same number as his father.
“He was just an All-American kid,” Sparks said. “That’s how I remember him. He was clean cut, polite and a fairly good student. Just a nice kid.”