Coast Guard searching for missing swimmer near Ocean City, Md.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard is searching the waters off Ocean City, Md., after receiving a report of a swimmer in distress last night.

At 7:51 p.m. a woman in an oceanfront hotel called 911 and reported seeing a white male struggling in the surf 50 yards offshore of 28th Avenue.

The Coast Guard launched an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and a 47-foot rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Ocean City last night to search for the reported swimmer. The aerial search continues this morning by the helicopter crew, who were joined at first light by a Coast Guard C-130 airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

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

If the public has any information regarding a missing swimmer or an individual in the vicinity of Ocean City, please contact the Coast Guard Fifth District Command Center at (757) 398-6390.

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 dangers to boaters on inland waters.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.