8-year-old swimmer missing off Florida’s Atlantic Coast

Associated Press

New Smyrna Beach, Fla. — An 8-year-old boy is missing after swimming in rough surf off Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

Volusia County Ocean Rescue Capt. Aaron Jenkins tells local news outlets that the search for Hezekiah Whyte is continuing Monday afternoon. Investigators were interviewing his mother Charlie Bonite Hill on Monday.

Jenkins says the disappearance has been “very traumatic for the family.”

Hezekiah was playing in the surf off New Smyrna Beachon Saturday when the strong currents pulled him out into deeper water. The boy’s 11-year-old sister tried to rescue him, but was pulled under and had to be rescued by lifeguards. She was held overnight at a hospital but is OK.

Officials say rip currents were strong over the holiday weekend and people are being asked to swim in front of the lifeguard towers.