They were going to be kings of Clearwater.

But at that crucial moment when drinking buddies Craig Hill and Todd Payne were to make the leap from the summit of the Memorial Causeway Bridge to the dark waters of the Intracoastal Waterway below, there was a glitch in their impromptu plan, authorities say.

Hill jumped.

Payne didn''t.

And Hill hasn''t been seen since.

By the time police arrived at the bridge at about 2:35 a.m. Sunday, Payne was in such a mental state, he had to be taken into custody under the state''s Baker Act, which allows authorities to hold someone for psychiatric evaluation for up to 72 hours, said Elizabeth Daly-Watts, the city''s public safety spokeswoman.

Using personal watercraft, boats, sonar technology and divers, Clearwater firefighters searched Sunday and Monday for the 25-year-old Palm Harbor man, but to no avail.

The effort was called off just before sunset Monday.

Alcohol was a factor in the failed stunt, Daly-Watts said.

She said the two were hanging out when they decided to go for a walk and then to jump together, but Payne, 20, backed out, Daly-Watts said.

Payne told authorities they wanted some notoriety; they wanted to be, in Payne''s words, "king of Clearwater," she said.

Hill, a onetime Palm Harbor resident who grew up in Tarpon Springs, was living and working at the Tropical Isle Resort, a 15-room hotel with long-term rentals at 23 Rockaway St., Daly-Watts said. Payne was living nearby at 622 Poinsettia Ave., she said. Both addresses are within walking distance of the bridge.

Detectives do not suspect foul play, she said.

Both young men have had trouble with drugs and alcohol. Hill has convictions for drunken driving, possession of alcohol by someone under 21, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Pinellas records show.

Payne has a conviction of possession of alcohol by a person under 21, records show.

They hadn''t known each other that long, said Steve Stein, the manager at Tropical Isle where Hill worked.

"They were going to jump and prove they did it, and something went terribly wrong," said Stein.