Man reportedly swept away in surf

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Beach safety officials are trying to track down reports of a man disappearing into the ocean off Daytona Beach.

Just after 6 p.m. Sunday evening, Volusia County beach safety officials said one of their lifeguards saw a man getting swept out into the surf in front of the Hilton Ocean Resort.

Lifeguards hit the water on boats and jet skis to find the swimmer, who they said was about 300 yards from shore.

The U.S. Coast Guard, who happened to be in the water at the same time, also helped with the search efforts but came up empty, and because of lack of daylight had to end their search.

"We weren't able to make contact with him verbally or physically so were not really sure if this person came around and came back to shore or if there's anybody who's been missing at this point," said Capt. Mike Berard, with Volusia County beach safety.

Because no one has been found or reported missing, beach safety officials are calling it a suspicious incident.

Officials said no other beachgoers reported seeing a man struggling in the surf, but Berard said he trusts what his lifeguards saw.

"Our lifeguards saw what they saw," he said. "They recognized what they were looking for, but on the way out there, if you lose eye contact, the person could come back and our guys did a great job."

Berard said lifeguards made 50 rip current-related rescues in Volusia County Sunday.

Beach safety officials will be back out to beach early Monday morning to continue their search.

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