Swimmer, 18, missing off Atlantic City coast, helped two friends to shore ‘sacrificing his own life’

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(FOX) — The search continues Saturday for a teenage swimmer who went missing off the Atlantic City coast on Friday night.

The 18-year old male from New York was swimming with two female friends near Victoria Avenue around 6:53 p.m. The friends were able to make it to shore safely but the man was swept up by the waves.

“It is believed that the male victim assisted the two female swimmers to shore thus putting himself in harm’s way and ultimately sacrificing his own life,” Ventnor City Police Capt. Joe Fussner told Fox News.

“Ocean conditions were extremely rough due to Tropical Storm Fay which was still kind of in the area and rip currents were very dangerous,” Fussner said.

The storm made landfall along the coast of New Jersey on Friday about 10 miles north-northeast of Atlantic City, according to national forecasters and was around 45 miles north-northeast of the city but weakened as it touched down.

There were no lifeguards on duty after 6 p.m., Fussner said, but added that the storm had largely passed, with some clouds and no rain when the incident occurred.

Police said they received a call that a swimmer was in distress and an officer responding to the scene observed the man unconscious several blocks away from where the incident was first reported.

Officials from the surrounding fire and police departments, beach personnel, and the U.S. Coast Guard descended on the area in search of the unnamed male but suspended operations shortly before 9 p.m. as it began to get dark.

Some police officers and members of the Coast Guard remained on patrol near the shoreline throughout the night in case the victim surfaced, Fussner said.

The family of the man has been notified and the search continues.

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