The search continued early at dawn for a swimmer reported missing off Long Branch late Sunday afternoon.

Coast Guard helicopters took to the air and divers were back in the water looking for the unidentified 17 year old male from Paterson. The effort is still considered a search and rescue although crews were pulled back shortly before 9AM.

The boy's family was said to be nearby and very upset.

Friends say the swimmer was pulled under in the water off Ocean Avenue and Melrose Terrace according to WABC TV . Numerous fire, police and rescue personnel responded to the scene while State Police and Coast Guard helicopters searched from the air.


Dive teams from Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach and Ocean Township were  also in the water.

Long Branch Police Lt. Frank Morey told the Star Ledger his friends told police he  "went under and didn't come back up."

The swimmer is described as a Hispanic male with brown eyes and black hair. The teen stands at 5 feet and 6 inches and weighs roughly 162 lbs.

No unusual rip tides or anything else was reported in the water. Lifeguards were on duty at the time.

Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider told the Asbury Park Press in his 22 years as Mayor there has never been a situation like this.

The boy was with a group of friends on the beach and an older man acting as a chaperone. The man ran into the water trying to pull the swimmer out before police were called.

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