Coast Guard ends search for missing 14-year-old boy near Destin, Florida

Coast Guard Cutter Ridley file photo

Coast Guard Cutter Ridley file photo

MOBILE, Ala. — The Coast Guard ended its search Thursday for a 14-year-old boy who was last seen swimming at Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida.

A beachgoer found a body matching the description of the missing boy on James Lee Beach at 2:22 p.m.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders received notification at approximately 6:45 p.m. Wednesday from Okaloosa Sheriff’s County Office personnel that the boy’s friends last saw him struggling to swim in the surf 200 feet off the beach before he went under the water and did not resurface.

Sector Mobile watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Destin, a Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Aviation Training Center Mobile, and the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Ridley, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Panama City, Florida.

“We are grateful for the collaborative interagency relationships that contributed to locating the boy,” said Coast Guard Cmdr. Kara Lavin, search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector Mobile. “Our thoughts are with his family during this challenging time.”

Involved in the search were:

  • Coast Guard Sector Mobile
  • Coast Guard Station Destin
  • Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans (via Aviation Training Center Mobile)
  • Coast Guard Cutter Ridley
  • Okaloosa Sheriff’s County Office
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Destin Beach Patrol

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