Search suspended after swimmer goes missing in Wildwood, New Jersey

WILDWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) — A search for a missing swimmer in Wildwood, New Jersey has been suspected, U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic officials said Wednesday afternoon.

The swimmer, who was last seen on Tuesday afternoon, has not been identified.

“The local response and the collaborative efforts of multiple local, state and private agencies have helped provide maximum coverage of the search area. This is a terribly sad end and our condolences go out to the young man’s family and friends. “, said Lt. Dan Nelson, commanding officer of Coast Guard Station Cape May.

The search began around 4pm on Tuesday when a group of swimmers were in distress on the beach off Andrews Avenue.

The beach is not fully equipped until the end of June and no lifeguard was on duty.

Wildwood Fire Chief Ernie Troiano III said swimmers were well beyond the usual distance from shore.

A swimmer was able to go out alone.

Responding crews were there within minutes and rescued two more.

“One was at least 200 yards away. The other was probably about 125 yards away,” Chief Troiano said.

“We saw them immediately; the crews split up – one went after a casualty, another crew went after another casualty. (They) brought them on board,” Troiano explained.

But the crews never had a visual on the fourth swimmer.

A friend told first responders the last time he saw him.

“He said they were trying to get in. He was on the sandbar, and his friend was in front of him, and when a circuit breaker came he said he saw it, then he didn’t. no longer reviewed,” Troiano said.

A helicopter flew over the scene at the start of the search.

US Coast Guard, State Police and local boats have all been deployed.

Rescue teams formed a human chain and slowly walked through the water, sweeping the sand with their feet.

A marine tow was also brought in to use its sonar. A diver was lowered into the water after the sonar was hit, but the search turned up nothing.

“There’s a tear (current) there. So it’s more than likely that the individuals got pulled into the tear, and either tried to fight it, or come back and didn’t swim parallel to the beach , tried to swim out of it. But either way, they were definitely defeated,” Troiano said.

Troiano urged people not to swim without lifeguards.

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