Water search ongoing in Shark River Inlet for 17-year-old free diver

    A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. (Image: Wikipedia.org

    A U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. (Image: Wikipedia.org

    Authorities are searching the Shark River Inlet for a missing teenager.

    According to a U.S. Coast Guard release, the 17-year-old free diver was reported missing in the inlet, which divides Belmar and Avon in Monmouth County.

    The Coast Guard dispatched a 29-foot response boat-small rescue crew from Station Shark River and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Atlantic City after Belmar police notified the agency around 5 p.m.

    Members of the Avon and Belmar police departments are also searching, the release said.

    Social media postings indicate that the ANSWER Team, a local volunteer water rescue squad, and lifeguards are also assisting.

    The Shark River Inlet is currently closed to maritime vessel traffic for the safety of search and rescue divers. 

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