Searchers were to resume looking at daybreak today for a missing 6-year-old boy who disappeared while swimming with members of his family Saturday evening, authorities said.
The boy, whose name has not been officially released, was getting out of the water on the southern tip of Coquina Beach with some other children at about 6:30 p.m., according to Longboat Key Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi.
“They were swimming where they shouldn’t have been,” he said, noting there are signs prohibiting swimming posted in the area. Conditions were also very rough at the time, he said. The boy was the last one in the water, “when the current pulled him under and they couldn’t find him,” Dezzi said.
A passerby also tried to rescue the boy but he could not be found, Dezzi added.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael De Nyse said two Coast Guard vessels from the Cortez station were involved in the search Saturday. A Coast Guard helicopter from Clearwater searched until shortly after 9 p.m.
“The current search area is from Bradenton Beach to Whitney Beach encompassing both the Gulf and Intracoastal Waterway sides of Anna Marie Island and Longboat Key,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jordan Waters was quoted in a news release. “We are doing everything in our power to reunite this child with his family.”
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dave Bristow said the Sheriff’s Office helicopter was also involved in the operation. In addition, rescue units from West Manatee Fire Rescue and Manatee County EMS participated in the search, using boats and jet-skis.
At 11 p.m., the search was called off for the night, Chief Dezzi told the Herald. “The recovery operation will start at daybreak,” he said.