Coast Guard suspends search for reported swimmer in distress off of Ocean City, Md.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard suspended its search this afternoon for a reported swimmer in distress off of Ocean City, Md.

A woman at an oceanfront hotel reported seeing a white male in distress 50 yards offshore at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday and called 911.

The Coast Guard responded by launching a 47-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Ocean City and a HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., the latter of which searched overnight. An Ocean City Police Department helicopter also participated in the search. It was continued this morning by a Coast Guard C-130 search-and-rescue plane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

A search of the beach last night by a Coast Guard vehicle and the local police did not find anything that may have belonged to a missing swimmer that would have helped establish his identity. There have also been no missing person reports.

Overnight environmental conditions off Ocean City included 23 to 30 mile per hour winds with 6-foot waves. The Coast Guard strongly encourages swimmers and mariners to exercise extreme caution in returning to the water following Tropical Storm Hanna. Powerful waves and the potential for strong riptides create hazardous conditions along beaches, and strong tides, flooding and storm debris may pose a danger to boaters on inland waters.

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