Rescuers search for missing teen swimmer; woman who called 911 speaks out

Author: Annette Montgomery
Published: Updated:

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter circled over Blind Pass Beach in search of a missing teenage swimmer.

Multiple agencies were called out to the scene around noon Tuesday, including the Sanibel Police Department.

According to the SPD spokesperson, four teens were involved. One male swam back, and rescuers responded to retrieve a male and female who were still struggling offshore.

Now, crews continue to search the water for a male teen.

Sanibel Fire was the agency that swam out and brought the two swimmers onto a paddleboard before getting them to a Captiva Fire Department boat.

Maureen Coelho, a witness who called 911, told WINK News that she saw the four teens swim out. At one point, she saw one of them waving and screaming.

After one of the four teens swam back to shore, he told Coelho that he needed help for his three friends out in the water.

“We were sitting for a little bit. We started hearing some teenagers crying, like screaming, and at first, I thought they were just playing,” she said, “but then we started seeing their hands go, and they were calling for help. When we talked to the one boy who swam in, he said they’re local. They’re all from Fort Myers. They’re 17, and they were just coming to the beach for the day, so it’s just heartbreaking.”

The scene remains active at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

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