Multiple agencies are scouring the coast near Mendocino Headlands State Park after an intoxicated man reportedly stumbled down the area’s cliffs yesterday evening and was later washed away by waves.
State Parks Chief Ranger Loren Rex who oversees the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast District told us that around 8:30 p.m. last night an out-of-towner encountered a man on the bluffs above Portuguese Beach thought to have been drinking and showing signs of intoxication. This traveler would be the sole witness to the missing man’s fall into the Pacific.
The out-of-towner told authorities the intoxicated man fell down the cliff, landed on the beach, and was subsequently washed out to sea. The reporting party told authorities that the last time he caught a glimpse of the now-missing man he was “floating face down in the water.”
Ranger Rex pointed us toward the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for the identity of the missing man. He did tell us the missing man is known in the community of Mendocino and often seen in the area of the Mendocino Headlands.
At the time of publication, we are still waiting to hear back from MCSO and will update readers when the information is available.
Multiple agencies were deployed to search for the missing man beginning yesterday evening and continuing today. Ranger Rex said a Coast Guard helicopter and Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue’s unmanned aerial vehicle looked for any sign of the body from above. State Parks personnel and the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department and others searched nearby shorelines and coves. Today’s search ended around 3:00 p.m. without any sign of the missing man.
We asked Ranger Rex if the public should expect to see searchers in the coming days. He explained that when drownings occur in cold water the body usually floats for an approximately 24-hour window after which it sinks until decomposition gasses cause the body to reemerge around two weeks later. With this in mind, he told us search efforts would be dialed back while State Parks personnel would continue scanning the Mendocino Headlands, searching nearby coves and shorelines for any sign of the man.
Range Rex asked the public to call law enforcement immediately if they see “a body floating in the water.” Call the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency dispatch at (707) 463-4086