The Coast Guard said 16-year-old Sal Roberts went under and did not resurface.
Officials say Roberts is from Voorhees, New Jersey.
Witnesses say a group of five teens were on boogie boards in the water near Hamilton Avenue and Ocean Terrace when three got caught in a rip current.
Rescue crews were able to save two of the three, but the 16-year-old went missing.
Coast Guard crews flew a helicopter from Atlantic City and brought in a rescue boat from Manasquan, but even with all that help, the sea was too powerful for them to save Roberts.
The teens are part of a group called Youth Consultation Services in Somerdale, New Jersey. Three adults and seven kids total from YCS were on the beach at the time of the incident.
Soon after 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, the search was suspended for the night.