Missing boater off Mission Bay found - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Missing boater off Mission Bay found

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Coast Guard has ended its search for a missing boater after he was found safe, Wednesday.

While watching news reports of the search for Garret Ferguson, a nurse at Scripps Mercy Hospital, in San Diego, recognized Ferguson as one of their patients. Upon verification that it was him, all search efforts were ended.

Ferguson, 36, was presumed missing after an empty vessel was found approximately one mile west of Mission Bay, in San Diego, yesterday. His identification was found aboard the abandoned six-foot dingy.

"We commend the media for their widespread coverage and the attentiveness of the hospital staff," said Cmdr. Rob Potter, Response Chief at Coast Guard Sector San Diego. "Because of their vigilance a family will be reunited and that is the success here."   

San Diego lifeguards found the dinghy floating about a mile west of the harbor late Tuesday morning, USCG Petty Officer Joel Guzman said. The Coast Guard was quickly alerted.   

"From there, we worked closely with lifeguards [and were] able to find some personal effects, along with some dive gear," said Commander Rob Potter of the Coast Guard Sector San Diego. "We quickly came to the realization this was a missing person we needed to find." 

An intense search was then launched on the water, from the air and along the coast, carried out by Coast Guard, San Diego Lifeguards, Navy, and Customs and Border Protection. 

"We've used computer modeling to find out where the boat might have come from," Potter said.  

They narrowed the search for Ferguson between off the coast of Torrey Pines to the border. 

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