Missing swimmer's family in Myrtle Beach - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Missing swimmer's family in Myrtle Beach

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Beach Patrol searches for missing swimmer Wednesday (Source: WMBF News Reporter Mark Meredith) Beach Patrol searches for missing swimmer Wednesday (Source: WMBF News Reporter Mark Meredith)
Crews searched overnight for the missing NC teen presumed to have drowned after going underwater Wednesday afternoon. Crews searched overnight for the missing NC teen presumed to have drowned after going underwater Wednesday afternoon.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The family of the 18-year-old North Carolina man who went missing while swimming in the ocean Wednesday afternoon with two friends is in Myrtle Beach, awaiting new details in the search for their son's body.

The Truitt's along with family and friends joined rescuers scouring the coastline Thursday. The search is now confined to the beach because of the dangerous weather conditions.

"We'll be out here until we have some resolution to this. It's one of those things that we don't know when we will have closure, but we'll be here as long as it takes," said Sgt. Philip Cain with Myrtle Beach Police Beach Patrol.

Sandy and Gary Truitt of Maiden, NC provided WMBF News with a picture of their son, Jeremy Truitt, to put a face with what tragically seems to be the first drowning in Myrtle Beach in 2011.

Cain said Truitt went missing in the water around 1 p.m. Wednesday in the vicinity of 24th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.

Capt. David Knipes, spokesman for the Myrtle Beach Police Department, said three teens went into the ocean and seemed to have some issues with a possible rip current. Two of the teens made it out of the water, the third did not. Truitt was just shy of graduating from Maiden High School and was in Myrtle Beach on Spring Break.

WMBF News spoke exclusively with the Truitt's and one of Jeremy's best friends Thursday and they say they'll stay in Myrtle Beach as long as they can to try to find Jeremy's body.

"He always tried to help out someone. He always tried to be a good friend. He never let anyone down," said Josh Fortney, Jeremy's best friend.

MB Police Beach Patrol, lifeguards, Huffman Helicopters and the U.S. Coast Guard were on the beach all night Wednesday into Thursday morning staying alert for any sighting of the missing teen.

According to Cain, lifeguards were on duty at the time the swimmer went missing, however, they are not at full capacity.

Cain and the Truitt's hope the tragedy serves as a reminder to beach goers of the power of Mother Nature.

"Check the conditions wherever you are. Check with the lifeguard to see what the conditions are that day, and if you're not a strong swimmer or not a swimmer, we'd recommend that you don't go in the ocean," said Cain.

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