Coast Guard searching for missing child caught in rip current near Galveston
GALVESTON, Texas - Authorities in Texas say a seven-year-old boy is presumed to have drowned after he went missing while at the beach with his family on Tuesday.
The Galveston Beach Control confirmed the likelihood of the child's death late Tuesday, according to local news outlets.
There is some discrepancy regarding the boy's age, as a report from Galveston County Daily News identified the child as an eight year old from St. Louis.
The news outlet added that a representative of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol said the boy drowned after getting caught in a rip current, which is described as a relatively strong, narrow current flowing outward from the beach through the surf zone. This powerful stream of rushing water often occurs near jetties and frequently becomes a hazard to swimmers.
The Galveston Island Beach Patrol representative said no lifeguard was on duty in the part of the beach where the drowning occurred.
CNN reports that the US Coast Guard is still searching for the boy.
In a press release, the Coast Guard said that a boat crew and helicopter began the search near the Galveston Seawall after the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston were notified of the missing child around 8 p.m. local time.
The boy was last seen wearing black shorts, according to the release.
"Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Station Galveston 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew," the release said.