LONG BEACH, Wash. - The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search of the waters near Long Beach after a teen was apparently swept offshore by a current.
Two people were on the shoreline in the water when a 14-year-old boy was swept away Monday afternoon, according to the Coast Guard.
The other person with the teen was safe at shore but notified emergency personnel that his friend had been swept away by the current.
The teen was last seen 200 yards from shore.
Crews completed eight searches in an eight-hour period and covered 52 square miles, the Coast Guard said.
Q13 News spoke with two Coast Guard members involved in the search on Tuesday.
Ashley Senna got emotional talking about the search for the 14-year-old. Coast Guard crews were on the water for more than 8 hours searching. Senna says he was on the boat searching for more than 5 of those hours.
"Everyone's efforts seem to be amplified even more whenever there is a child involved," Senna said.
Senna, a dad himself, fought back tears thinking about the 14-year-old and his family. The Coast Guard says the family was visiting Long Beach from Oregon.
Senna says he has been involved in more than a dozen searches involving children in the last 17 years he's been in the Coast Guard. They are always hard to deal with.
For Coast Guard member Zachary Tanner, it is his first time in a mission to search for a child.
"I had to take a step back a couple of times to collect myself, a lot of thoughts go through your mind on something like that, I'm getting a little emotional right now," Tanner said.
Tanner met with family members during the search. He tried to comfort them but he says it was hard to find the words.
The Coast Guard says around 18 hours were spent in all searching for the boy if you take into account all the other agencies that came in to assist.
The agency says they called off the search after calculating the survivability of the boy. Things like water temperature and whether or not a subject is wearing a life vest play a role when making a decision to call off a search.
The decision is always heart-wrenching, and for people like Tanner and Senna, the sadness of it all will stay with them for a long time.
They are urging the public to be careful anytime they are in or near the water.
"Be aware of how powerful the ocean can be, the swell, the rip currents," Senna said.
"It can be calm one minute and then everything blows up," Tanner said.
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