The search and rescue team Tuesday in Mission Beach near Tower 16. Photo via @SDFD Twitter

Lifeguards and police dive teams continued searching Wednesday for an 18-year-old man who went missing while swimming in the ocean off the coast of Mission Beach and remained unaccounted for more than 24 hours later.

The young man was among several swimmers who began having trouble staying afloat in the water near Jersey Court about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Lifeguards rescued two distressed youths in the group but were unable to locate a third, SDFRD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

Search teams, including personnel with the U.S. Coast Guard, combed the sea in the area until about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, by which time the operation was considered a recovery effort, not a rescue attempt.

The search resumed Wednesday morning, involving three lifeguard rescue vessels and scuba personnel, for a total of 18 personnel taking part. San Diego police dive and helicopter teams were also aiding in the operation.

If the missing swimmer, whose name was not released, remains lost, the efforts will continue until sunset Wednesday and then resume Thursday, with personnel aboard boats using side-scan sonar, Munoz said.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock