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UPDATE: Ocean Water Search For Missing Swimmer In Seaside Park Called Off

Coast Guard, area fire departments, lifeguards on scene off O Street beach; lifeguards start manning beaches on Thursday

Seaside Park police, the Coast Guard, lifeguards and fire officials have ended a search for a missing swimmer who apparently disappeared in the surf off O Street around 3 p.m. this afternoon, Police Chief Francis Larkin said.

Larkin confirmed that the missing swimmer is an 18-year-old male who had gone to the unguarded beach this afternoon with three other friends.

“Local scuba teams and fire departments responded," Larkin said. "The U.S. Coast Guard sent two cutters down, along with helicopters. The State Police also responded to the area.”

Borough lifeguards start full-time on Thursday, he said.

"The lifeguards begin their summer tomorrow," Larkin said.

The three friends were pulled from the surf, but the fourth failed to surface, he said.

Rip currents in the area were especially strong this afternoon, the chief said.

"It's very unusual for this time of year," Larkin said. "It's usually September when we see this."

Coast Guard helicopters hovered over the ocean, and rescue personnel appeared to be conducting a grid search.

“The search has been suspended at this time by the local fire departments and pending any further developments during the night the search may resume at first light tomorrow,” Larkin said.

There were roughly 33 lifeguards in the water up until 6:49 p.m., conducting a line search heading north towards towards Seaside Heights.

Larkin said swimmers should be aware of and know what to do when they they are in one.

“People should know before they go," he said. "Know your surroundings. Get on the Internet and find it all out. Know what you’re getting into before you get into it.” he said.

Due to the high risk of rip currents, lifeguards made between 8-10 saves as well as helping to conduct the search.

Come back to Patch later for more information on this developing story.

Shawn Smith June 21, 2012 at 03:22 PM
According to Seaside Park Borough Hall, beaches are open today.
WhyohWhy June 21, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Ya know what Jenny? Maybe people should go into the water with that EXACT thought! Maybe they should be leary and respectful of the ocean and then MAYBE so many senseless lives wouldn't be lost ! These aren't crude comments these are the cold hard facts that people DON'T want to hear... yes its sad someone lost their life so young, but it was no ones fault but their own... sad but true.
Laura Ann June 21, 2012 at 03:56 PM
All this yipping and yapping. To blame the town because a 18 year old man decided to swim with his buddies is the stupiest thing I heard. Mother Nature swallows alot of people...it was his time. We can sit here and think...why didnt his friends dive in to find him?? Life guard or no life guard it was not to be. Why didnt these men heed warning signs? Dont they watch the news? Mother Nature has taken many. His time was up. Why didnt they watch the movie "Jaws"...you know they would of went in a pool instead of the ocean. It is sad...and his friends and family will never be the same. My yipping and yapping point is...that no one is to blame...it was Mother Nature who took him. May he R.I.P.....
WhyohWhy June 21, 2012 at 03:59 PM
First of all bobby its PATERSON spelt with ONE "T". And second of all Its ugly when anyone goes into the ocean and cannot swim to save their own life. NOT just from Paterson! Its amazing, if you didn't have these people coming 'down the shore' to spend their money making revenue, you would be bitchin and moaning how high your taxes are. Thats was a stupid thing to say !
Donna Griffin June 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Amen, RedoRed. It's called consequence. I guarantee that the boys who were with him will never risk swimming in unguarded ocean waters again. Prayers to all families involved.

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