The body of a 14-year-old boy was recovered from Jacksonville Beach early this morning.
The boy was swimming Sunday afternoon when he went missing. It is believed he got caught in a rip current while he was about 15-20 yards out from the beach.
Onlookers describe seeing the boy “flip” a few times while the pressure of the Atlantic rip current pulled him under.
Although there was no lifeguard on duty in the area, witnesses claim at least two lifeguards and several concerned citizens attempted to retrieve the boy, but ultimately could not rescue him.
Officials have notified the teen’s parents.
The boy had been playing ball on the beach with family members, when he chased the ball into the water at around 1:50 in the afternoon.
According those present, the boy’s father, uncles, and their family members were distraught after seeing the events unfold.
Jacksonville Ocean Rescue says Sunday’s conditions made for a red flag day, a call for beachgoers to stay out of the water, or swim only near a lifeguard.
The Rescue team reports they responded to at least 10 rescues on Sunday alone.
Jacksonville lifeguards warn that rip currents are dangerous and red flags should be taken seriously. They say that anyone caught in a riptide should float on top of the water in order to conserve energy and swim parallel with the shore until they are out of the strong current.
Photo: Jacksonville Lifeguard Facebook