UPDATE, THURS., AUG. 2, 10:23 A.M.: The search for Andrew Szaz resumed this morning, Thursday, off Laguna Beach, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The range of the search remains the ocean between Newport Beach and Dana Point.
ORIGINAL POST, WED., AUG. 1: The Coast Guard and members of the Orange County Sheriff's Department are currently searching for a missing 74-year-old Newport Beach man whose sailboat was found early Wednesday morning off Laguna Beach.
The boater, who has been identified as Andrew Szaz, was reported missing by his wife at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Lt. Jason Kravetz of the Laguna Beach Police Department. Szaz had failed to return to Dana Point Harbor, where his 28-foot racing sloop, named Babe, is based.
The boat was later discovered washed up on Main Beach, but Szaz was nowhere to be found.
"At 2:20 a.m., we received a 911 call from a resident who has a view of Main Beach," Kravetz tells Patch. "He told dispatchers that he was watching a sailboat which appeared to have beached itself on Main Beach. Officers and Marine Safety personnel responded to the scene and searched the boat. They found that it was empty. The sail on the boat was up and the running lights were activated."
Kravetz says that Szaz was last seen on the boat. Dana Point Harbor Patrol responded, took possession of the boat, and towed it back to Dana Point.
"We are currently still searching for the boater," Coast Guard Petty Officer Cory Mendenhall tells Patch. "We have two helicopters in the air actively looking, as well as a rescue boat."
According to the sheriff's department, investigators are examining the boat's GPS navigational gear to see if they could retrace its course.