NORFOLK, Va. – Officials have stopped searching for a 12-year-old boy who went missing near the Ocean View Pier at 414 W. Ocean View Avenue on Saturday around 7 p.m.
Norfolk officials say the family of the boy reported that three children were in distress when a family member was able to save two of them, while the 12-year-old could not be saved.
The Coast Guard, who suspended their search on Sunday around 3:30 p.m., said that a boy was sighted 50 yards off the beach before he was last seen going under water. The family was reportedly on vacation.
Capt. Kevin Carroll from the Coast Guard says it was a very tough call to suspend the search. “We approach this not as agencies, but as parents. We try to look at this as if one of our family members were out there,” Carroll said.
The search spanned about 160-square miles from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to past Willoughby. “They teach us to say the phrase ‘our thoughts and prayers.’ It doesn’t bring up how badly we feel and how you wish this could’ve gone better,” Carroll said.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue and the Norfolk Police Department have also concluded searching for the boy.
Dive teams were deployed and grid searches had been done since the Saturday incident in efforts to recover the boy.
Carroll says the Coast Guard believes the boy’s body is below the surface of the water and they’re hopeful it’ll turn up soon. “Unfortunately, we were unable to save him, but at least we can probably locate him to bring him home and give his family that closure that they desperately want,” he said.