An extensive search by the RNLI and other emergency services was carried out overnight but had to be called off around 3.30am after the man could not be found.
Shortly after midnight the man who was walking his dog with another man got caught by a wave at high tide - his friend who tried to assist him was forced back to the shore where he raised the alarm.
The sea conditions were described as extreme and the RNLI say the search was difficult and dangerous. Despite the extensive efforts of the RNLI, Coastguard, police and RAF the man could not be found and the Coastguard took the decision at 03:30am to stand down the search teams. However, coastguard rescue teams are continuing to search the beach and shoreline today.
Blackpool RNLI spokesman Paul Parton said ‘tonight’s search was a long and difficult one and sadly we were unable to find the casualty.’
Stuart Atkinson, watch manager at Crosby Coastguard station, said the strong, westerly gale-force winds made the operation difficult.
He added the conditions, water temperature and length of time in the water made it "highly unlikely" the man could have survived.
"Therefore the sea search has now been terminated and we are now in the process of searching the shoreline for a body."