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Coast Guard Searches for Church Member Swept Into Ocean During Baptism

Reports of a body spotted in the Pacific Ocean on Monday about two miles from the California beach where a man was swept into the sea during a baptism the day before turned out to be fishing buoys, officials said.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department received "numerous reports" of what residents thought was a body near Guadalupe Dunes Park as they searched for a male in his 40s who went missing after he was pulled into the water, said David Sadecki, a Fire Department spokesman.

Santa Barbara County Air Support Unit, American Medical Response, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and several local fire stations were involved in the search for the man, who had not yet been identified, Sadecki said.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department suspended their search operations after discovering the buoy, but the U.S. Coast Guard continued the search to search from the water and air.

Two additional people who also drifted out into the ocean “self-rescued” Sunday without injuries, Sadecki said.

Members of a Santa Maria church told NBC affiliate KSBY that they were conducting a baptism when the church members got pulled into the surf.

— Elisha Fieldstadt