Coast Guard suspends search for missing swimmer near Boca Grande, Fla.

60 ClearwaterFORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.— The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a missing 21-year-old swimmer near Boca Grande, Florida.

Javier Castro, 21, from Cape Coral, Florida, was last seen while swimming near Boca Grande, Saturday.

Coast Guard crews covered 250 square nautical miles during 20 searches by air and sea looking for Castro.

“I cannot imagine what Javier’s friends and family members are enduring during this difficult time; our thoughts and condolences go out to all of them,” said Cmdr. Randall Brown, Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg Deputy Commander. “We have made the difficult decision to suspend the search with a heavy heart.”

At 3:58 p.m., Saturday watchstanders from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Florida, received a Marine Emergency Response Team alert reporting Castro was missing after swimming with family members just off Boca Grande. Castro’s father reported Castro and one of his brothers were swept out by a rip current. A jet skier recovered the brother and reported seeing Castro go underwater without a life jacket.

A 29-foot Response Boat Small-II boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Fort Myers Beach was launched and commenced the search.

Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Florida, Station Cortez, Florida, the Coast Guard Cutter Aligator, homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral Fire Department and Englewood Fire Department aided in the search.

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