Skipper May Be Hiding, Has Outstanding Drug Warrant

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A missing skipper, whose salmon boat washed ashore near Ocean Beach, California, may likely be hiding - not dead - according to a prosecutor's investigator who said there's an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Mark Matthews reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug 5, 2014)

    A missing skipper, whose salmon boat washed ashore near Ocean Beach, California, may likely be hiding - not dead - according to a prosecutor's investigator who said there's an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

    San Francisco District Attorney Investigator Hansen Pang did not immediately disclose more details on why he believed Timothy Lybrand was possibly running from authorities. But he did say that he thought the skipper made it to shore because he only had 25 yards to swim.

    However, Santa Clara County Sheriff Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup said that Lybrand, 51, was arrested in 2010 on drug charges, and a $75,000 warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court in 2012. He also has a case stemming from Santa Cruz, but those exact charges aren't known.

    NBC Bay Area obtained copies of Lybrand's booking photos from Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Authorities also said they searched two possible addresses for Lybrand on Monday night - in Morro Bay and Santa Cruz.

    Virginia McDermott used to live in the house where Lybrand lived on Escolona Drive in Santa Cruz. She told NBC Bay Area that three police officers came to her home on Monday night looking for Lybrand. "It was serious," she said.

    Timothy Lybrand
    Photo credit: Santa Cruz County Jail

    The new information came to light on Tuesday, as crews were poised to haul away his boat, the Paloma, from the shores of San Francisco near the Cliff House. The vessel carried a 400-gallon tank of gasoline, and crews were also worried about leaking diesel spilling into the ocean.

    Coast Guard officials said Lybrand called a friend on another boat - the Sunrise - about 3:30 a.m. on Monday to say he had just hit rocks and was planning to jump ship about 25 yards from shore.

    But after scouring the shoreline and the waters for Lybrand for nearly eight hours on Monday, the Coast Guard suspended the agency's search at noon.

    Originally, San Francisco Battalion Chief Denise Newmann said Lybrand could have died of hypothermia if he was still in the water, and the search had become a recovery mission. "It's very cold out there," she said, noting temperatures were in the 50s.

    Coast Guard Search For Man Who Jumped From Boat Coast Guard Search For Man Who Jumped From Boat

    The only way Lybrand could have survived, Newmann said, was if he had somehow swum to shore.

    Lybrand's friends stood by, hoping for the best.

    "We're all worried," said Larry Collins of the San Francisco Community Fishing Association. "Timmy's good people."

    The Outside Lands Festival is fast-approaching, and officials have a Friday deadline to get the boat removed. The National Park Service is footing most of the bill by covering $98,000, while the Coast Guard is kicking in about $20,000.

    Tim Parker of Parker Diving Service is running the salvage operation. "We would like to take it up in fairly large pieces and break it up further up the beach," he said.

    Anyone with information regarding the Paloma or Lybrand is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector San Francisco Command Center at 415-399-3547.

    NBC Bay Area's Stephanie Chuang contributed to this report.