Search called off for swimmer missing in La Jolla

A Coast Guard helicopter aids in the search on Saturday night. Photo: Greg Wiest
A Coast Guard helicopter aids in the search on Saturday night. Photo: Greg Wiest

City News Service

An ocean search was suspended Sunday for a man who never returned from a 2-mile swim to La Jolla Shores, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Jim Repetto, 53, from Massachusetts, planned to swim from the Scripps

Pier to the La Jolla Shores lifeguard tower Saturday, but did not reach his

destination, Coast Guard Petty Officer Henry Dunphy said.

However, police are now looking into his background, after they learned that he was facing charges of mail fraud and attempting to intimidate a witness in a kickback scheme where he previously worked. He was out on bail awaiting trial. A co-conspirator was convicted in the case, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Dunphy said a friend of Repetto noticed the swimmer was more than an

hour late and notified La Jolla lifeguards at 6 p.m. Saturday that he never reached the beach.

The 20-hour search covered an 80-mile stretch of ocean that started at

6:30 p.m. Saturday and was suspended at 2:30 p.m. Sunday pending any new developments, Dunphy said.

He said rescue crews searched by helicopter and patrol boat, with the

boats staying on scene overnight, and all rescue crews resumed searching for the man Sunday.

La Jolla Shores had thunderstorms overnight with 15 to 20 mph winds and 3-foot waves.

Repetto was wearing a wetsuit and swimming alone.

   
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