LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The search for the 17-year-old Paterson boy who disappeared while swimming in the waters off a beach in Long Branch has been suspended.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The boy was swimming with two friends Sunday evening after life guards went off-duty when they got caught in a rip current, officials said, and the 17-year-old went under and didn’t resurface.

“One of our lifeguards, our head life guard actually, was still in the parking lot when he heard the distress call come in,” said Long Branch Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Stanley Dziuba. “He ran down there and was able to get two people out of the water, but unfortunately, the third one was already under.”

The Coast Guard and other emergency responders spent hours searching 86-square miles of shoreline looking for the teen. The search lasted through the night and resumed early Monday morning before turning into a recovery effort.

“We’ve had helicopters in the water, we’ve searched extensively for miles off-shore and the visibility is very bad, everybody’s exhausted and it is a recovery effort,” said Dziuba.

Coast Guard Commander Ken Pierro called it a tragic start to the summer.

“Any time any body, a child or an adult goes missing in the water, it hurts,” he said.

The boy’s identity has not been released.

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