The discovery of a wrecked 25-foot sailboat in an Ocean Beach cove today prompted a brief search for the owner, who had tried to anchor the vessel in the ocean before swimming to shore hours earlier.

The vessel was reported aground at the foot Santa Cruz Avenue about 6:15 a.m., lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum said.

Personnel with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department searched the ocean waters and coastline in the area for the 23-year-old owner of the boat. Within 90 minutes, the man was found at his home, Lerum said.

The owner, who has gotten numerous citations for overstaying a mooring, sailed into the area after being shooed out of Mission Bay on Monday, the lieutenant said.

The young man told authorities he thought he'd anchored his boat securely in the ocean before swimming to shore and going home.

The vessel wound up washed ashore, where waves smashed it against the rocky shoreline, tearing large holes in its hull and rendering it unsalvageable, authorities said.