Coast Guard Ends Search for Missing Teen Swimmer

The boy went under while swimming on Sunday

By Jonathan Vigliotti and Katherine Creag
|  Tuesday, May 29, 2012  |  Updated 6:21 AM EDT
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The U.S. Coast Guard search for a 17-year-old boy who disappeared while swimming at a beach in Long Branch, N.J. on Sunday has been called off, officials said.

The U.S. Coast Guard search for a 17-year-old boy who disappeared while swimming at a beach in Long Branch, N.J. on Sunday has been called off, officials said.

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Search for Teen Swimmer Turns to Recovery

The search for a 17-year-old boy who disappeared while swimming near a beach in Long Branch, N.J. on Sunday has now turned to a recovery effort, officials said. Katherine Creag reports.

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Rescue crews searched the waters of Long Branch for a 17-year-old boy who went missing Sunday. Ida Siegal reports.
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The U.S. Coast Guard search for a 17-year-old boy who disappeared while swimming at a beach in Long Branch, N.J. on Sunday has been called off, officials said.

Family and friends reported the teen missing shortly before 5:45 p.m. Sunday. Police say friends told them he was swimming when he went under and didn't come back up.

The search effort was scaled back to a recovery mission on Monday morning, and by Monday afternoon the water and air search by the Coast Guard was halted.

Long Branch Office of Emergency Management volunteers were still planning to make one last pass Monday evening, officials told NBC 4 New York.

Lifeguards said the visibility underwater was about 3 feet, making the recovery effort more difficult.

At the height of the search, some 50 to 75 people were involved, officials said.

The Coast Guard said it sent a small boat and helicopter to the area on Sunday immediately after the first report of a missing swimmer.

That search covered about 86 square miles, officials said.

"We conducted multiple searches," said Commander Ken Pierro. "We pushed our crews to fatigue limits."

Long Branch Police Lt. Frank Morey says it's unclear why the teen disappeared.

Witnesses said the boy was swimming with a girl who appeared to be his sister.

"His sister was like, 'That's my brother, that's my brother, please help,'" one witness said.

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