Body of missing swimmer off Hatteras Island found in Pamlico Sound

Search underway on Hatteras Island for missing swimmer. [Island Free Press photo]

The body of an 18-year-old West Virginia who went missing yesterday afternoon in the Pamlico Sound off Hatteras Island was found by a search and rescue team this morning.

The young man from Ripley, West Virginia was last seen swimming roughly 100 yards from the Haulover Sound Access shoreline in Avon, near the edge of a historically dredged, deep water area. Helicopters, boats, jet skis, and shoreline observations were used to search for the missing swimmer yesterday, Cape Hatteras National Seashore reported in a news release.

Early this morning, an underwater search began using a side-scan sonar provided by the Hertford County Office of Emergency Management. At around 11 a.m., sonar scans identified a body on the floor of the Pamlico Sound in roughly 10 feet of water, close to where the swimmer went missing. The body was recovered and brought to the shoreline where it was identified as the missing 18-year-old, the release said.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends during this very difficult time,” stated David Hallac, Superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “The Seashore is appreciative of the teamwork and exceptional efforts made by the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, Dare County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Coast Guard, Hertford County Office of Emergency Management, Dare County Emergency Medical Services, NC Marine Patrol, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore Rangers.”