Body of swimmer missing off Sandy Hook, NJ, found

SANDY HOOK, N.J. (WABC) -- The body of the swimmer who disappeared in the water off New Jersey was found around 6:30 a.m. Friday.

The 25-year-old man was found in the water near Lot C at Sandy Hook Beach, one beach over from where he vanished Wednesday. An autopsy will determine the cause of death. He has been identified as Andros Vega-Pena of Red Bank, N.J.

Vega-Pena disappeared in the water off Sandy Hook around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Beachgoers observed two people having difficulty in the water and alerted authorities. Lifeguards were not on duty at the time, as they leave at 6 p.m.

"If there is any message that we can give people, please swim where there are lifeguards," said Pete McCarthy, of the National Park Service. "It's very important that people understand that going into the water on an unguarded beach is a recipe for disaster if they don't know what they are doing."

(Photos courtesy Carley Mazzeo via Twitter)

Dozens of off-duty lifeguards raced to search Wednesday, as did divers from throughout the area. The NYPD and FDNY also sent boats and divers, as well as aviation. Emergency crews used side-scan sonar, which effectively searches large areas.

The search for the swimmer became a recovery mission Thursday morning. Helicopters and dive teams searched in addition to foot patrols.

The shallow water at Beach B is only three feet deep, but quickly drops off to 50 feet.
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