Mole says Castro's friend got out of water as Castro stayed in and when the friend turned around and he was gone and called for help.
Rescuers received the call around 1 p.m. More than three local agencies responded with boats and divers as well as state parks and N.C. Wildlife officials to search for the teen.
For three hours they searched the waters around Seaforth Beach, finally finding Castro just after 3:45 p.m. about 30 yards off shore.
State parks officials say it appears Castro was a "weak" swimmer --he was not wearing a life-jacket and there were no lifeguards standing watch.
Officials had to shut down the beach area during the search and re-opened it around 4 p.m.