Authorities search for missing swimmer in New Smyrna Beach

1 person also rescued from surf Saturday, officials say

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – One person was rescued from the surf and crews were searching Saturday for a missing person in New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County Beach Safety personnel said.

An 11-year-old girl was taken to a hospital by New Smyrna Beach Fire after Beach Safety personnel rescued her from the surf, officials said. 

Volusia County Beach Patrol said the girl and her 8-year-old brother were swimming in the strong currents Saturday morning. Lifeguards rescued the girl, but could not find the boy. 

Beach Safety used its watercraft and lifeguards in the water to search for the missing boy. Officials said the Coast Guard's boat and helicopter, along with Air One and a boat with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, have also been assisting in the search.

There were large crowds throughout the beach, officials said. There were numerous jellyfish stings, and one person was transported for a minor reaction.

Volusia County Beach Safety said it had conducted nine water rescues with 11 victims.

Beach Safety officials said on Sunday that the 11-year-old girl rescued Saturday was doing well, but crews were still searching for the 8-year-old boy. 


Crews said Air One had already begun searching for the boy before 8 a.m., and that the Coast Guard would later send a boat and helicopter to assist. The search was being conducted from Flagler Avenue to the jetty, inside the inlet and around both jetties, officials said.

News 6 spoke with beach-goers who were spending their Easter Sunday by the water just one day after the boy went missing.

"It only takes seconds, just seconds to just change your life forever," Barbara Swoboda said.

Swoboda said she had to keep constant watch on her five grandchildren, as the waters were rough Sunday.

"We were just with them and we always stayed where there was a lifeguard, and you just don't take your eyes off them because it only takes seconds," Swoboda said.

Marte Comstock also spent Easter Sunday at the beach, and wouldn't let her 6-year-old son in the water.

"I've already told him he needs to stay put," Comstock said. "Just stay by the edge and don't go further out, because it could pull him out in a heartbeat."

Lifeguards flew red and purple flags at the beach Sunday to warn beach-goers of high surf, rip currents and dangerous marine life.

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this story.