JACKSONVILLE, Fl.a – Authorities are searching for a missing swimmer who was last seen Sunday afternoon at Huguenot Park.
Sources told News4Jax the swimmer, who was described as a man wearing black shorts, took children into the water and he had not been seen since around 1:30 p.m.
Police said they were notified 15 minutes later about the missing man. The Sheriff’s Office said its air, marine and drone units, as well its dive team, responded to the scene. The Sheriff’s Office said the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the U.S. Coast Guard are also involved in the search.
Police said they are treating this as a missing person investigation, but sources told News4Jax that a body recovery mission is underway.
BREAKING: A body recovery mission is underway after a swimmer disappeared at Huguenot Park, sources told News4Jax.— Brie Isom (@BrieIsomWJXT) May 23, 2021
News4Jax was told the swimmer, who was described as a man wearing black shorts, took children into the water and has not been seen since. This was at 1:30. pic.twitter.com/RjjbxXPo27
Along Northeast Florida beaches, there continued to be a high risk of rip currents on Sunday.
Rod Sullivan is a maritime expert.
“At this late hour, the odds they’ll recover a live person are getting more and more slim,” said Sullivan.
He says because there were red flags out at the beach Sunday, nobody should’ve been in the water.
“If you’re going in chest deep, you don’t have any chance against the rip current. You won’t win,” said Sullivan.
He says since sources tell us the man was out in the dangerous waters with children, that’s even worse.
“If you’re out there with small children and they’ve been caught in the rip current, it’s hard,” said Sullivan. “You could put yourself at great risk.”
Sullivan says 45 people nationwide die every year from rip currents.
“Huguenot Park has a history of having more deaths than other places,” said Sullivan.
The Jacksonville Beach lifeguard spokesperson said lifeguards had to help 10 swimmers get back to shore today because of the rough waters.