Water craft use suspended Thursday in search for missing swimmer - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Water craft use suspended Thursday in search for missing swimmer in Myrtle Beach

Emergency officials were searching for a distressed swimmer in the area of 42nd Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News) Emergency officials were searching for a distressed swimmer in the area of 42nd Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. (Source: WMBF News)
Beach-goers form a human chain to sweep the ocean shortly after the swimmer went missing. (Source: Drew Hansen) Beach-goers form a human chain to sweep the ocean shortly after the swimmer went missing. (Source: Drew Hansen)
Officials resumed the use of jet skis in the search Thursday morning. (Source: WMBF News) Officials resumed the use of jet skis in the search Thursday morning. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Rescue crews have suspended the use of water craft Thursday evening in the search for a missing swimmer in the area of 42nd Avenue in Myrtle Beach, according to Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

He added officers will remain on the beach the remainder of the day Thursday and overnight. Then, rescuers will evaluate resources, conditions and other factors to develop a plan of action for Friday.

Crews continued patrolling beaches the beaches early Thursday morning for a missing 12-year-old swimmer near 42nd Avenue North. Rescue officials were first called to the scene late Wednesday afternoon after a call came in for distressed swimmers in Myrtle Beach.

Lt. Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said that the use of jet skis in the search has continued Thursday morning.

According to Myrtle Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Bruce Arnel, a call came in around 4:20 p.m., Wednesday for three distressed swimmers in the ocean off 42nd Avenue North.

Crosby said one of the swimmers, a female, was treated on scene.

The second individual, a teenage boy, was rescued from the ocean by lifeguards and bystanders, according to Lt. Crosby. Upon being rescued, CPR was performed before the swimmer was taken to the hospital.

"I'm not a swimmer, but it was throwing me around and the only thing I was hoping for was to hold on to that lifeless boy's body and bring him in and hope these guys could do their job," said Carlos Pasco, who helped rescue the teen from the water.

Crosby said late Wednesday evening there had been no update on the teen's condition.

John's Beach Service General Manager Nick Jackson said John's Beach Service decided to put lifeguards ankle-deep directly in the water to keep people from swimming any further than waist deep at 3 p.m., Wednesday.

He said it was only short time later they got a call for three distressed swimmers. 

Jackson said he thinks they were not strong swimmers and a wave came in and swept them off a sandbar, putting them into an area where the water was over their heads.

"From what I gather from multiple witness reports, the third victim submerged rather quickly," Jackson said. "I mean in an instant, which leads me to believe that he got pulled off the back end of the sand bar."

Jackson said this is the first drowning John's Beach Service has experienced since 2012, but the past five days were especially busy with rescues.

He said lifeguards performed 20 rescues over the past five days, compared to the typical three rescues each week.

"It’s extremely dependent on the water conditions," Jackson said. "They just weren’t good over the last four or five days, so that led to the extensive amount of rescues."

Crosby said all three swimmers are related and from Darlington County.

Shortly after 5 p.m., Crosby said the U.S. Coast Guard was called to assist with the search, which was cut a bit shorter than usual because of storms that moved into the area. Rescue officials said beach patrol officers would be making the rounds overnight, while boats would be back on the water in the morning.

"It was crazy," said Tracey Rogers, a bystander who saw the situation unfold. "The mother was very, very upset. (We were) trying to console her while trying to talk to family members to tell them what was going on and to get down to Myrtle Beach. It's just a lot of craziness and we're all just trying our best to find this little boy so we can at least get him home."

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly