Search suspended for Tomales Bay Oyster Company owner

TOMALES, Calif. (KGO) -- Rescue crews suspended their search Wednesday for the owner of the Tomales Bay Oyster Company who went missing while fishing for oysters near Marshall in Marin County.

Crews recovered a boat belonging to 70-year-old Charles "Tod" Friend of Oakland yesterday in Tomales Bay near Marshall.

Friend owns the Tomales Bay Oyster Company. He disappeared yesterday afternoon while boating on Tomales Bay in high winds and waves.

Friends looked back and saw the boat empty, going in circles. They towed it to shore.

The search lasted more than 24 hours and covered more than five miles of shoreline.

Late Wednesday afternoon, sheriff's deputies determined they had done all they could and suspended the search.

"He is a character, tough as nails. People are pretty broke up about this," friend Richard James said.

Friend's truck was parked along Highway One, where he left it. While deputies searched the cab for possible clues, we noticed a flower left on the windshield.

The search included Coast Guard helicopters, a flotilla of local volunteers, and others combing miles of shoreline.

They say Friend is a strong swimmer, but was not wearing a life jacket.

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