The search for a missing 10 year old Philadelphia boy off an Atlantic City beach has been suspended by the Coast Guard.

“The decision to suspend a search is very difficult, but after an exhaustive search by crews last night and all day today, the Coast Guard suspended our search for the missing boy. I cannot imagine the sadness felt by the child’s family, and my deepest sympathy goes out to them,” said Capt. Kathy Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia.

Two New Jersey State Police boats from the Atlantic City Station along with the Coast Guard continue  the search for  Khitan Devine, of Philadelphia today used a tow-able side scan sonar unit. Another boat with two troopers and a State Police Missing Persons Unit detective scanned the jetty and shoreline in the area near the beach at the end of Martin Luther King Boulevard.

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Coast Guard Petty Officer Cynthia Oldham from Atlantic City Station expected the search to continue until dark.

She said overnight the Coast Guard had 2 twenty five foot response boat crews and a helicopter searching for the boy, and this morning a 47 foot motor lifeboat from Station Atlantic City joined the search.

A total of 85 square miles from Atlantic City down to Longport have been searched by early Monday afternoon.

This kind of a search can be very challenging, said Oldham,  because “the ocean is so vast and you have the tides going different directions, and it gets deep in different areas- it’s just a dangerous place to swim.”

The missing  boy’s stepmother, Rosemary Brown, said they were met with a strong current. “It was a current that pulled us under,” Rosemary Brown told WPVI TV.  A shaken Brown says Good Samaritans managed to get to her and her daughter.

A Coast Guard spokeswoman says a person could survive about eight hours in the water, based on conditions at the time. She says it’s unclear how long the search will continue.

“[It was] a very strong riptide with the currents and according to the patrol chief, it’s a strong possibility that he’s missing and presumably drowned,” Tom Foley of the Atlantic City Office of Emergency Management told WPVI.  “The young man was in the water after 7:00 at night and we can’t stress enough to you, just don’t do it. Just stay out of the water. Once the lifeguard leaves, you leave because these rip currents can rip you right out to sea very, very quickly,” Foley said.



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