One swimmer missing, dozens rescued

May 25, 2009 9:04:15 AM PDT
One swimmer is presumed dead and dozens of others have been rescued during a busy Memorial Day weekend on North Carolina's beaches.

Chief William Younginer of the Carolina Beach Police Department told a local newspaper that the U.S. Coast Guard has stopped searching for 19-year-old Angel Gonzalez of Fayetteville.

Younginer said officials believe he drowned while swimming in the water Saturday evening during a family vacation.

Gonzalez's brother reported that they were swimming together off Carolina Beach when he was swept away. Lifeguards could not locate him and contacted emergency dispatchers.

The Coast Guard searched with several boat crews and aircraft crews along with lifeguards and Carolina Beach Police and Fire departments.

Authorities say the water was 72 degrees and there was a rip tide warnings in the area when Gonzalez was swept away.

Cpl. Simon Sanders, the ocean rescue director in Carolina Beach, said lifeguards had upward of 100 rescues between Friday morning and Sunday evening. Other rescue officials in the region also reported a high number of rescues because of crowded beaches and dangerous surf.


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