Rough waters at Peggys Cove, N.S. halted the search for a missing Ontario man one day after he was swept out to sea on Wednesday.

A search and rescue team worked for nearly six hours on Wednesday until the search was called off in the evening.

Police say it is now a recovery mission.

An RCMP dive team returned to Peggys Cove on Thursday but did not enter the water because of sea conditions.

“We’d have to cover the area close to the rocks, and because of that, because of the current and the waves, we run a risk of being pushed up against the rocks,” said Cst. Darryn Sampson, the dive team supervisor.

The missing 25-year-old, who has not been identified, was walking along the rocks close to the water with his girlfriend when he was swept out to sea by a large wave.

It’s not the first time such a tragedy has happened at Peggys Cove, and locals say the talk, as always, turns to what more could be done to warn visitors about the dangers of being so close to the water.

“One of the things we could maybe look at would be guards out on the rocks, you know, to inform people of the dangers of certain spots,” said local resident Tim Oulton.

Others say it’s up to each visitor to heed the existing warnings.

“I mean, we can’t put up barricades, we can’t rope things off. People will just climb under ropes or climb over fences,” said Mark Quibell, a manager at a local restaurant.

Tim McRobie, a tourist visiting the iconic location on a wet and rainy Thursday, says part of the responsibility lies with individual visitors.

“There’s plenty of signs that tell you to stay off the rocks, but I think mostly it’s common sense,” McRobie said.

“A day like today, we’re not even going to venture onto the rocks.”

The safety discussion made its way to the provincial legislature, with Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey saying tragedies like this one call for a re-evaluation of existing safety measures.

“If we can provide another level of public safety, and at the same time provide public access, I think that’s what we would all want to achieve,” Furey said.

He would not rule out the idea of erecting a barrier or putting up more signage.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie