SAN DIEGO – A young man who disappeared beneath the water after climbing over a railing and falling from the Crystal Pier was an aspiring musician.
The young man has been identified as Taylor Watts, 27. He lived in Pacific Beach and was a singer-songwriter signed to an independent music label called "Keep Your Soul Records," according to his Facebook page.
After a full day of searching by air and underwater, lifeguards and the Coast Guard suspended their search Monday evening. They said they would resume the Tuesday morning.
Witnesses said Watts fell backwards off the Crystal Pier after climbing over the pier railing. Lifeguard Lt. Andy Lerum, said Watt "and was hanging on a rope pretending like he was going to descend the rope, but he lost his grip and fell." Witnesses said he may have hit his head on the pier on the way down. He never surfaced after the fall.
As soon as lifeguards got the 911 call, some jumped off the pier into the water, hoping to find Watts before it was too late. Greg Griffith, who was on the beach to take pictures of the sunset at the time, described what he saw.
"About 10 divers in wetsuits all went into the water, but a few jumped in without wetsuits," he said.
Monday, divers began their search near the pier, but they expanded the search area as time passed because of the strong currents. Lifeguard divers used sonar and a new a new technique called the SD sweep.
“Divers go down and attach to a rope (to the bottom) and conduct their search on one side along the bottom of the ocean. When they get to the end they pendulum to the other side,” Lerum explained.
The searchers have been hampered by poor visibility and strong currents.
Late Monday, Watts' family arrived at the beach from Houston. They could be seen hugging and consoling each other on the beach.