RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CBSLA.com) — Divers have found the body of an 18-year-old swimmer off Rancho Palos Verdes.
Officials say Joseph Sanchez of Long Beach drowned Wednesday after he went cliff diving into the surging waters near Inspiration Point.
Divers have spent every day since searching a cave near Abalone Cove, where the teen was last seen.
Sanchez had trouble making it out of the water and was pulled onto some rocks by his friend, Toogee Zepeda, who then went to find help. When Zepeda returned, Sanchez was missing.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said in addition to the divers, several helicopters and six boats patrolled the surf along the shore in search of the missing man.
The search was being conducted by divers from the Sheriff’s Emergency Services Bureau.
The search was a challenge because waves entering the cave create a current.
“The current comes in. It stays in,” Giandomenico said. “It creates a blow hole in the back of this cave that basically takes the divers and tosses them around like in a washer machine.”
Over the Fourth of July weekend, several other rescues were made in the vicinity, where jumping into a tidal pool known as Sacred Cove is popular.
The L.A. County Fire Department announced that public access to the area, including Inspiration Point and Portuguese Point, was restricted until sundown Sunday.
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