Search suspended for missing teen fisherman

Published On: Jun 03 2013 02:36:42 PM EDT
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -

The search has been suspended for a 17-year-old who disappeared in the water while fishing Thursday afternoon near Fort Clinch State Park.

Police said Caster Nova Gray, of Nashville, Ga., was standing on a rock net fishing when he fell in the water and got caught in a strong current about 4:30 p.m.

IMAGES: Search for missing teen

Family members say Gray (pictured, below) was fishing for the first time and could not swim.

Friends fishing with Gray made a valiant attempt to save him, but the strong water prevented them from bringing him to safety.

Immediately after the incident was reported, law enforcement officers from the Fernandina Beach Police Department, Nassau County Sheriff's Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Camden County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Coast Guard searched the area in an attempt to locate Gray.

Several law enforcement agencies continued to search from the shore, the air and by boat through Monday afternoon without any results. As the search progressed, the Coast Guard worked closely with the Fernandina Beach Police Department to provide information on recovery assessments based on the tides and current, using state of the art sonar technology and modeling software, officials said.

They said in addition to the comprehensive search, various law enforcement dive teams were consulted. However, due to the size and severe conditions of the channel, such as rip currents near shore, as well as known obstructions and poor visibility within the channel, it was deemed unsafe for divers to conduct a grid search.

Despite the official search being suspended, officers assigned to the area that patrol the beaches and ocean on a regular basis will continue be alert for any evidence that might lead to the recovery of Gray, police said.

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