Search ongoing for missing swimmer off Island Beach State Park late Friday afternoon

     Water rescue crews searching for a missing swimmer off Island Beach State Park Friday afternoon. (Photo: JSHN contributor Amanda Barton)

    Water rescue crews searching for a missing swimmer off Island Beach State Park Friday afternoon. (Photo: JSHN contributor Amanda Barton)

    The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for a swimmer who disappeared in the ocean off Island Beach State Park, a fire department source said.

    The 25-year-old man went missing shortly before noon Friday at an unguarded section in the southern end of the park, prompting a massive emergency response from the U.S. Coast Guard, fire department water rescue and dive teams, and Island Beach State Park lifeguards, authorities said. 

    It was the man’s first time swimming in the ocean, according to published reports.

    Authorities describe the man as white, with dark hair, wearing red shorts. 

    Beachgoers in Island Beach State Park told JSHN that swimming was prohibited while the search was ongoing early Friday afternoon. 

    Officials blocked access to the state park for about two hours while the emergency response was ongoing. 

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