Coast Guard crews no longer searching for person in water

d7ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – Coast Guard crews stopped searching at 3 p.m. Monday, pending any new developments, for a missing swimmer in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The identity of the swimmer remains unknown.

Coast Guard plane and helicopter crews from Air Stations Miami; Clearwater, Florida; and Savannah, Georgia and boat crews from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and New Smyrna Beach, Florida, saturated the search area for 20 hours, covering more than 1,100 square miles, and found no signs of the missing swimmer.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office notified watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville, Florida, command center about 7 p.m. Sunday that a swimmer who was 200 to 300 yards from shore had not returned to shore and was potentially in distress, prompting searches by Volusia County Beach Safety, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Coast Guard.

Responders initially believed the swimmer may have been a local homeless man who frequents the area, but later accounted for that individual and confirmed he was not at the beach Sunday.

There are currently no reports from the public of swimmers missing from Daytona Beach.

Volusia County Beach Safety reports Daytona Beach lifeguards rescued more than 80 beach swimmers during the weekend with no fatalities.

“The lifeguards in Daytona Beach proved last weekend how invaluable they are to public safety, especially during times like last weekend when deadly rip currents were so prevalent in the area,” said Cmdr. Brian Rush, head of the Sector Jacksonville response department. “But even though the lifeguards are there ready to respond, it is vitally important for swimmers to heed lifeguards’ warnings, pay attention to beach condition flags and know their own capabilities when swimming at the beach.”

Swimmers who get caught in rip currents should not panic and should remember to break the grip of the rip by swimming parallel to the shoreline to escape the current before attempting to swim back to shore.

Anyone who has information on the missing swimmer or believes to know who the swimmer might be is urged to contact the Coast Guard sector Jacksonville Command center at 904-564-7511.

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