Crews from the Coast Guard are joining police in the search for a diver who went missing in the Shark River Inlet near Belmar Saturday.

According to a Coast Guard statement, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay were contacted by the Belmar Police Department late Saturday afternoon. Authorities said a 17-year-old "free diver" had gone missing around 5 p.m. in the Shark River Inlet, near Belmar, officials said.

A Coast Guard crew in a 29-foot Response Boat-Small from the Shark River station began searching the inlet as an air crew in an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter was dispatched from Air Station Atlantic City to search from the air, according to a statement.

The Coast Guard said crews from the Avon-By-The-Sea and Belmar Police Departments are joining in the search as well.

"Shark River Inlet is currently closed to maritime vessel traffic for the safety of search and rescue divers on scene," according to the Coast Guard statement.

Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.

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