WILDWOOD, NJ – Authorities say a Philadelphia swimmer who disappeared in the ocean off the coast of New Jersey has not been found after an exhaustive search.
The Wildwood Police Department said Alfred Williams, 19, was among a group of four swimmers who needed to be rescued from the water last Tuesday.
Emergency crews responded to the beach near Andrews Avenue around 4 p.m. and observed two swimmers in distress at least 100 yards from shore.
Both swimmers were pulled from the water by members of the Wildwood Fire Department, authorities said.
Police later learned that a third swimmer who was with the group managed to swim to shore before emergency crews arrived.
Several agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and off-duty local lifeguards, joined in the search for a fourth swimmer who was later identified as Williams.
The Coast Guard used an MH-65 rescue helicopter with sensitive search gear to scour the water for the missing swimmer.
The search for Williams lasted several hours and ultimately yielded negative results, authorities said.
“At this point, the investigation has evolved into a recovery mission,” read an update from the Wildwood Police Department.
The department has remained a swimmer to only enter the ocean when a lifeguard is on duty.