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Missing man who sparked late-night Pirate’s Cove search was just asleep on the beach

Pirate’s Cove near Avila Beach, CA, where two men attempted to rob and carjack motorists in a parking lot in February 2019.
Pirate’s Cove near Avila Beach, CA, where two men attempted to rob and carjack motorists in a parking lot in February 2019. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

A man who was reported missing around the Pirate’s Cove area late Tuesday night was found safe when he walked right up to firefighters on Wednesday morning.

Responders first received reports of a missing man at about 10:45 p.m., according to Cal Fire spokesman Chris Elms. The report said the man, who is in his mid-20s, was last seen around Pirate’s Cove near Shell Beach.

Responders, with the help of Pismo Beach police, the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Highway Patrol’s H-70 helicopter, searched for him until about 3 a.m., Elms said. By that point, responders were confident no one was in the water and temporarily suspended the search due to darkness and incoming fog.

Responders resumed searching for the man at daybreak and found him at about 7:15 a.m.

“As soon as the first engine company went to the parking lot at Pirate’s, he walked up,” Elms said. The man was evaluated and released by paramedics and went back to his parents, Elms said.

“Apparently, he never went in the water,” Elms said. “He just got down on the beach and spent the night on the beach.”

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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