Coast Guard suspends its search for child swept to sea near Kitty Hawk, NC

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter file photo

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard has suspended its search for a 4-year-old boy who was swept away by a wave in Kitty Hawk Wednesday.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command center in Wilmington received initial notification at approximately 4 p.m. that the boy had been swept away from his mother who subsequently lost sight of him in the surf.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet to search for the boy.

The crews arrived on scene and searched along with crews from Kitty Hawk Beach Rescue, Kitty Hawk Fire Dept., Dare County, Corolla Ocean Rescue and others.

Coast Guard crews in coordination with local agencies searched a total of 130 square nautical miles for 10 hours.

The Coast Guard suspended its search at 8:30 p.m.

“Suspending a search for anyone, let alone a young child, is the most difficult thing a commanding officer in the Coast Guard is called upon to do,” said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander, Sector North Carolina. “I can’t imagine what the family of this little boy is going through right now.”

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