EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Emerald Isle police and fire are searching the shoreline and dive team has been called in to look for a missing swimmer after the Coast Guard suspended their search Sunday.
Three teens were swimming near the Bogue Inlet Pier around 6 p.m. Saturday when they got caught in a rip current.
Local beachgoer Blair Alford was able to help the teen who was closest to shore to safety.
“I went and took a dip in the ocean and heard a couple of guys out there hollerin’,” said Alford. “I turned around, and they needed some help, so I went out there and got the guy. I pulled out closest to me and the other guys were about 50 yards behind me. He was kind of shocked, and I tried to get him to kick his feet, and he wouldn’t kick his feet, and he was just kind of in shock.”
The other two, a 16- and 17-year-old, were swept further out to sea.
The 16-year-old was located and brought ashore by a surfer. He was taken to Carteret Health Care and then airlifted to Vidant Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.
Emerald Isle Police, Fire, EMS and the U.S. Coastguard began searching for the missing 17-year-old immediately after the initial report.
The Coast Guard’s search effort lasted 18 hours and covered 130 square miles before being suspended on Sunday.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the young man,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Sobel, duty watchstander at Sector North Carolina. “Making the choice to suspend a search is never an easy choice and one the Coast Guard doesn’t take lightly.”
Police are also reporting the teen has been entered into a national database for missing children and emergency services agencies in Carteret and Onslow counties have been briefed on the situation.
The names of the teens are not being released at the request of the families. Both the 16- and 17-year-old are from the Wayne County area and were visiting Emerald Isle for a day trip.
The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search for a missing 17-year-old male in the Bogue Inlet Sunday morning.
Coast Guard officials tell WNCT crews from Emerald Isle have also joined the search. They said the teen appeared to have been swimming at an area beach prior to going missing.
Stay with WNCT for more information as it becomes available.
Coast Guard crews are actively searching for a 17 year old male in the Bogue Inlet near Morehead City.
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard’s District 5 Public Affairs Office confirms with WNCT that an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter are currently searching the waters.
No other information is being released at this time. Stay with WNCT as we work to get more details on this developing story.