Coast Guard suspends search for 17-year-old swimmer

U.S. Coast Guard file photo taken Aug. 2, 2013 by Petty Officer 1st Class Henry G. Dunphy.NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 17-year-old swimmer at 10:23 a.m., Monday in New Smyrna Beach, pending any new developments.

Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Command Center watchstanders were notified of the situation Sunday at 5 p.m., by Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet, who was notified by 911 relay. The report stated a 17-year-old male was seen going underwater while swimming and not resurfacing.

Crewmembers aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater were launched to search Monday morning at first light.

Crewmembers aboard a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Coast Guard Station Ponce de Leon Inlet, as well as a crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Georgia, were launched to search. An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast was also initiated to notify boaters in the area.

Also assisting in the search were crews from Volusia County Beach Patrol and members of the New Smyrna Beach Lifeguard Service.

“The decision to suspend a search and rescue case like this is never an easy one to make,” said Capt. Thomas Allan, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville. “I want to extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the young man. After searching with our partner agencies in Volusia County and New Smyrna Beach more than 100 miles by air and sea and finding no sign of the teen, I have made the decision to suspend the active search. Again, we offer our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time.”

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