Man at center of rescue turns up in the hospital - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man at center of rescue turns up in the hospital

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — Investigators are still working to piece together the mystery behind a dinghy found floating a mile off the coast of Mission Bay and Private First Class Garrett Ferguson. 
 
A nurse identified the 36-year-old as one of her patients at Scripps Mercy Hospital and contacted police Wednesday night. 
 
Homeland Security won't disclose his injuries or how he ended up there. 
 
The call ended a massive two-day ocean search stretching from Torrey Pines to the border after lifeguards spotted the dinghy. 

"It's an inflatable hull, a small vessel with a small outboard motor on it," said Cmdr. Rob Potter, Response Chief at Coast Guard Sector San Diego.

"Typically, you'll see these being towed behind a sail boat or a bigger boat that can't make it into harbor. The owners will use it to ferry between the boat and the harbor. Also, surfers will use them to access areas not accessible by land." 
 
Police won't say if there was evidence of another boat. 
 
The coast guard wasn't able to determine what Ferguson was doing on the boat. 
 
People familiar with boating equipment said it appears from a picture there was extra fuel on board. 
 
"Based upon the information we've got and the evidence on the boat we don't think he came far - within about 10 miles of its location on Mission Bay," said Potter. 
 
Ferguson was profiled in the Orange County Register back in 2007 - meeting his pen pal class during his time in the Army. 
 
A few years later county court records show someone with the same name and age on the other side of the law; including a 2013 conviction for two separate possessions of a controlled substance, a firearm charge as well as receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of personal information. 
 
Last February they were convicted for grand theft and another drug charge. 
 
Federal Homeland Security investigators are now taking over the case into what happened on the dinghy and to Ferguson. 
 
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