An 18-year-old from North Jersey is feared to have drowned in unguarded waters off Seaside Park.

A search and rescue mission that began around 2:30 this afternoon is continuing, but the victim hasn't yet been sighted.

The Coast Guard and police from Seaside Park, Seaside Heights and Toms River responded to the O Street Beach, where witnesses told Townsquare Media that four swimmers were in distress. Three eventually were rescued at 10th Street.

Seaside Park Lifeguard Captain Joe Gomulka confirmed the search with Townsquare Media.




No identities have yet been released. Seaside Park Police Chief Francis Larkin closed the borough's beaches to swimming for the rest of the day.

"Today we're experiencing some pretty heavy rip currents," Larkin told Townsquare Media. "We had approximately eight to 10 swimmers in distress in the past hour."

Larkin submits that despite the passage of hours, it's still to early to give up on the rescue effort. "We're hoping for a successful outcome today," he said.

Lifeguards begin full-time watches tomorrow.