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Search Called Off For Missing Swimmer Who Jumped Off Santa Monica Pier

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A swimmer vanished in the ocean after jumping off the Santa Monica Pier early Sunday morning, and rescuers are still searching.

Brian Jordan of the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. told KTLA that the Santa Monica Harbor Patrol received a call around 3:10 a.m. this morning, when someone reported that a person was swimming in the water under the pier.

According to Jordan, a witness screamed that the person in the water had "disappeared." Witnesses told ABC-7 that they saw the person jump off the pier and into the water below.

The L.A. Times reports Harbor Patrol officers found people on the pier "looking at someone in the water," and that the swimmer was last seen clinging to a pylon. After arriving at the pier, a Harbor Patrol officer jumped into the water and began looking for the swimmer.

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The Times notes the conditions under the Santa Monica Pier are incredibly dangerous: not only is the current strong, but the sharp barnacles on the pillars can "slice a swimmer's skin open."

Jordan told KTLA that searches like this "can be very difficult, especially when you don’t have a lot of witnesses...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."

Lifeguard rescue and fire boats joined L.A. County fire and Coast Guard helicopters in the six-plus hours search this morning, covering over a mile of water. According to KTLA, divers were sent to scour the ocean, and a sonar device was also sent into the water. But so far, nothing has turned up.

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

Anyone with potential information should call the Coast Guard at 310-521-3815.

Updated, 3:23 p.m.: The search for the swimmer was called off around 11:30 a.m. after hours of after six different searches, in "different variations," Capt. Brian Jordan told City News Service.