Coast Guard suspends search for person in water near Smith Island, Va.

45 Cape CharlesPORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard suspended its search Monday for a 20-year-old man in the water in the vicinity of Smith Island near the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

The search for the missing swimmer, which began Sunday at approximately 2:00 p.m. after the man was last seen in the water about 20 feet from the beach, was suspended at 8 p.m.

The search effort included 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews from Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, the crews of Coast Guard Cutter Beluga and Coast Guard Cutter Cochito, MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crews from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, a U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two crew from Naval Station Norfolk, as well as crews from Virginia Marine Police, Virginia Beach Fire Department, Chesapeake Fire Department, Chesapeake Police Department, Cape Charles Rescue Squad, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and Virginia Port Authority.

Searches covered about 360 square miles and totaled more than 445 hours.

“The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one to make, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the missing swimmer,” said Capt. Richard Wester, commander, Sector Hampton Roads. “This truly was a joint effort involving a wide variety of partner agencies that worked closely together during the search.”

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