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UPDATE (9:23 a.m.): The Santa Barbara County Fire Department responded to numerous reports of a body in the surf line, approximately two to four miles north of the Guadalupe Dunes Park. Officials later determined it was a fishing buoy.

GUADALUPE ( — A man was missing Monday after he and two others were swept out to sea during a baptism ceremony near Santa Barbara.

The pastor of a Santa Maria church was baptizing a man his 20s when the accident happened Sunday morning near the shore of the Guadalupe Dunes Preserve.

Two people managed to swim to safety, but a 43-year-old man, identified by his cousin as Benito Flores, was swept to sea by a two large waves.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Santa Barbara County, Vandenberg and Santa Maria fire departments looked for Flores until the search was called off at midnight.

“The search included shore based, water rescue teams with personal water crafts, and two helicopter searches,” Santa Barbara fire authorities said.

Authorities resumed the search Monday.



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