Body in Shark River Inlet believed to be that of missing teen diver

BELMAR, N.J. (WPVI) -- The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a missing 17-year-old diver after a body matching the description of the boy was found in the Shark River Inlet near Belmar, New Jersey.

Avon police say the body was found Sunday afternoon at the base of a bridge. But a formal identification has not yet been made.

Authorities had been looking for a 17-year-old Westfield boy who was reported missing around 5 p.m. Saturday. They say the teen was a free diver, meaning he wasn't using scuba gear, and had been spear fishing when he disappeared.

Coast Guard boat and helicopter rescue crews were dispatched to the scene and searched throughout most of the night before resuming their efforts Sunday morning. Members of the Avon and Belmar police departments were also involved.

"The Coast Guard and our partner state, local and federal agencies have been actively searching by air, surface and underwater since we were notified yesterday afternoon," said Capt. Ben Cooper, commander, at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. "As First responders, we always hope for the best when we are searching, and conclusions like this are truly tragic. Our hearts go out to the families and friends affected by their loss."

The teen's name hasn't been released.
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