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Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue kept busy this Memorial Day weekend

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Still no sign of a missing swimmer off Carolina Beach. The Coast Guard suspended its search Sunday afternoon for 19-year-old Fayetteville resident Angel Gonzalez, who went missing around 5:30 Saturday afternoon.

Angel was swimming with his brother, but Angel never made it back to shore.

While the coast guard called off the water search Sunday, Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue stepped up patrol along the shoreline.

Ocean Rescue Director Simon Sanders says rip currents are likely to blame for the disappearance. “Waves come over the sandbar, the water builds up in shore of the sandbar and has to find a way out to the sea, that creates a channel in the sandbar called a rip current.”

Sanders said the conditions this weekend kept Carolina Beach lifeguards extremely busy.

“We’ve been on and off our stands all day. There have been tons of rescues.”

There were more than 100 rescues at Carolina Beach on Saturday and Sunday alone.

Red flags have been posted to warn swimmers of the danger. “Last summer when we were here, I did not see the signs for the riptides that tell you how to get out of them, but I notice this summer they have the signs up, which helps,” said concerned parent Beth Morris.

In all, over 60 people have been involved in the rescue effort this weekend. The Coast Guard, the Carolina Beach Police & Fire Department, EMS and Ocean Rescue and the
Carolina Beach lifeguards.

Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue has added more lifeguard stands and put warning signs in the sand to further protect swimmers.

Remember, if you get caught in a rip current, don’t try to fight it. Swim parallel to the shore to get out of it, then swim in.

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Story summary

videoStill no sign of a missing swimmer off Carolina Beach. The Coast Guard suspended its search Sunday afternoon for 19-year-old Fayetteville resident Angel Gonzalez, who went missing around 5:30 Saturday afternoon.

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