HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WECT) – Search and rescue crews are still scanning the waters near Lockwood Folly in Holden Beach, searching for a swimmer who went missing on Tuesday night.
At this point, however, Holden Beach Police Chief Wally Layne said this incident is now more of a body recovery effort instead of a search and rescue effort.
Layne said the victim is 21-year-old Kwesi Sample from Columbus, OH, who was in the area with a church group. The group is made up of about 1,200 different people who come to Holden Beach every year for a retreat.
Authorities say Sample went missing around 5:30 Tuesday night when he and about eight of his friends were attempting to swim from Holden Beach to Oak Island.
Crews from several different agencies across southeastern North Carolina are scanning the waters by boat and helicopter searching for clues.
According to Layne, water temperatures are in the low 60s which could have caused the swimmer to get hypothermia. Layne said exhaustion could have also played a major role due to the strong shifting currents.
Layne said they haven't had any luck in locating any clues thus far, but will continue searching as long as it takes. He anticipates a body recovery within the next 48 hours.
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