BRADLEY BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities have called off the search for a missing 15-year-old, who disappeared Thursday while swimming off Bradley Beach.
Officials say Naisere Nelson, of Neptune Township, was swimming in the rough surf and was carried away by a rip current. Divers and the Coast Guard have been looking for him since Thursday.
Alexia Richards was one of the classmates who called 911 when Nelson went under Thursday.
“At first we all thought he was playing, because he jokes around a lot, but then we realized it was serious,” Richards told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu. “One of our friends went and tried to help him, but I guess we didn’t get to him in time.”
“He was wading,” Bradley Beach Police Chief Len Guida said. “He wasn’t even in water over his head when he was pulled out by the rip current.”
The search was suspended on Thursday because of thunderstorms and resumed on Friday morning. However, there has been no trace of the teen.
More than 100 people, including family and friends, scoured the area looking for the teen before the search was called off.
Chief Guida said two other swimmers were rescued Thursday evening by fellow beachgoers, but that Nelson went below the water and wasn’t seen again.
As the beach filled up with friends, trauma counselors also arrived to help the students get through the painful wait for word.
Nelson’s girlfriend, Shayna Meggs, said one thought keeps her going.
“As long as he’s not struggling out there, and he’s not anymore,” Meggs said. “He’s good now.”