NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — An 18-foot Boston Whaler washed ashore with no captain onboard in Newport Beach on Sunday afternoon.

As CBSLA’s Cristy Fajardo reports, there is a search underway as investigators now believe there is a man missing at sea.

Initially they weren’t sure if the boat had become unmoored or if the captain had gone overboard.

Now that man’s very worried family is inside the Harbor Patrol station.

Crews are out over the ocean looking for him.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department say the boat washed ashore at 48th Street Beach at about 4 p.m.

No one was onboard and they couldn’t reach the owner of the boat so they immediately launched a search. Deputies, lifeguards and the Coast Guard started scouring the shoreline and waters between Newport Beach and Catalina Island, where they believe the boat had been anchored, for several hours. It got too dark to see and a short while ago they came in.

The Coast Guard is still out there using helicopters and night vision goggles, hoping to find the captain and bring him in safely.

Deputies are not releasing his name but he is an experienced sailor.

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