VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - The body believed to be that of a missing 17-year-old boy washed ashore Monday on New Smyrna Beach, officials said.
Officials said the Georgia teen, whose name has not been released pending next of kin notification, was reported missing just after 5 p.m. Sunday while he was swimming in the ocean.
The body washed ashore around 11:30 a.m. near Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach.
Volusia County Beach Safety and Ocean Rescue officials said the teen became separated from a group of friends in the rough surf and no one saw him emerge from the waves.
The Coast Guard mounted a search with a helicopter and boats, and beach patrol used jet skis.
An Orlando couple said they were knee deep in the water when they saw something floating.
"It's a terrible thing to see a body there in the water," said Bob Weir.
"When I saw the hair and saw the shoulder, I knew," Fran Archibald.
That's when Weir jumped into action.
"I grabbed the man's long hair and with the help of the current of the water, I backed him into the shoreline," said Weir
Weir then called his girlfriend for help.
"When he waved to me, I'm 78 years old and I ran like hell down the beach," said Archibald.
"One thing that I can feel great about is that we found him and the loved ones can at least have a little closure and rest," said Weir.
Meanwhile, a 53-year-old Kissimmee man died Sunday after being pulled from the water off Daytona Beach. Officials said the man, who has not yet been identified, entered the water in an area that had no lifeguards.
The man's death marks the third water-related death in Volusia County over the past nine days.
Beach officials have issued rip current warnings, and rough conditions are expected to last through the rest of the week.
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