SARASOTA, Florida -- Law enforcement officials are trying to find family members of a 19-year-old missing swimmer whose body was found off Lido Key Beach before releasing his name.
A dive crew with the Sarasota Police Department found the teen's body around 9 a.m. Sunday morning after a search involving the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies that started on Saturday after police received the report of a missing man.
At this point, it's believed the man may have gotten caught in a rip current. Signs posted around the area of South Lido County Park where the man went missing urge people not to swim there.
"The water looks so inviting, especially this time of year, but know your skills and abilities, watch your children closely," says Scott Montgomery, Lifeguard Manager for Sarasota County Emergency Services. "Swimming here in the Gulf of Mexico, we get everchanging currents and tides."
Those tides have former lifeguard Kevin Bruning giving his three-year-old son a warning about the water as they visited the beach for Father's Day.
"I already told him I want him to keep his feet under him and not swimming where he can't touch the bottom," says Bruning. "He keeps a flotation device with him. When he gets a little bit older, I'm going to talk to him about swimming with a friend."
The teen who went missing Saturday had been swimming with a friend before they got separated.
"This is the most dangerous area on the beach," says Drew Allan, who visits Lido Key Beach often. "This is where the rip currents happen."
He knows the risk of swimming near an inlet after getting caught in a rip current in the past.
"It's terrifying. It's a scary feeling," he says. "One minute you're here. The next, you're half a mile out."
And after what happened this weekend, he feels the signs dotting the park, warning of strong currents and swimming bans, may not be enough.
"I think the biggest thing is the county should have lifeguards out here, obviously after today, losing someone's life," he says.
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