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Coast Guard: No sign of missing Atlantic Beach paddle boarder

Coast Guard officials said Monday night that searchers continued scouring the ocean off Atlantic Beach for a man last seen when he went paddle boarding Sunday afternoon.

Authorities said Gary Turkel, 41, of Ocean Boulevard, went into the water near his home and was last seen by a family member at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Nassau County police Monday were asking anyone with information about Turkel or his reported disappearance to call the USCG Sector Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401, the Missing Persons Squad at 516-573-7347 or Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls are confidential.

The Coast Guard said Turkel was last seen wearing blue shorts and a white T-shirt, but without a life jacket, by a lifeguard at Atlantic Beach and said watch standers with the Coast Guard were notified by Nassau County fire officials of the disappearance at about 6:15 p.m.

Multiple types of crews and rescue craft have taken part in the search, among them a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Jones Beach; an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City; the Coast Guard cutter Bonito, an 87-foot patrol boat out of Montauk; and a twin-engine turbofan HC-144 Ocean Sentry search aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod.

Crews from the Nassau County police marine and helicopter units and members of the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department also were dispatched.

The National Weather Service reported a small craft advisory in effect until 2 p.m. Monday for Atlantic Ocean waters off Atlantic Beach, with winds of 17 to 23 mph — and gusts of up to 35 mph — with expected seas of 3 to 5 feet.

The National Data Buoy Center reported the water temperature at the entrance to the New York Harbor area, one of the major buoy readings closest to the area where Turkel went missing, was 60.6 degrees Monday.

Survivability charts from the Coast Guard and other marine agencies indicate swimmers in waters with temperatures ranging from about 55 to 65 degrees can survive for at least two hours, though, depending on direct exposure, they can survive anywhere from a dozen to as many as 40 hours.

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