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Coast Guard suspends search for child swept away by wave on Kitty Hawk beach

KITTY HAWK, N.C. – The United States Coast Guard has suspended its search for a child who went missing on a Kitty Hawk beach Wednesday.

The search was suspended at 8:30 p.m., affiliate WTKR reports.

According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, Kitty Hawk Police received a report that a woman was walking with her four-year-old son on the beach when the child was swept into the ocean by a surprise wave.

The mother was unable to keep her eye on the child and the child went further out into the water.

“Suspending a search for anyone, let alone a young child, is the most difficult thing a commanding officer in the Coast Guard is called upon to do,” said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander, Sector North Carolina. “I can’t imagine what the family of this little boy is going through right now.”

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City was initially launched to conduct a search operation over the surrounding area. A 47-foot Motor LIfeboat crew from Station Oregon Inlet also searched on the water.

Coast Guard crews searched along with crews from Kitty Hawk Beach Rescue, Kitty Hawk Fire Department, Dare County, Corolla Ocean Rescue and others.

This is a developing story.