“I just can’t get that vision out of my mind of the mother;” witnesses react to missing swimmer search

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — People were still shaken up as the search for a missing 14-year-old swimmer continued in Myrtle Beach.

The boy disappeared in the ocean around 12:40pm Thursday afternoon, in the area of 73rd Avenue North.

Police say he was swimming with his brother, who also got into trouble in the water, but was rescued.

RELATED: Crews suspend search for missing Myrtle Beach swimmer

Rescue workers have been searching since the call came in.  Lightning impacted efforts on the ocean Thursday, but Myrtle Beach police were back out on jet ski’s Friday.

It was a heartbreaking sight for people who saw the incident from the beginning.

“I just can’t get that vision out of my mind of the mother.  It’s really horrible, I’ve never witnessed anything like that in my life,” said Lori Strumke.

Strumke lives in Myrtle Beach and was out on the beach with family when rescue efforts began.

“Everybody was just frantic and crying and praying and then they formed this human chain,” said Strumke, who was amazed to regular people jump to action.

“They were out in the water as far as they could go and just being tumbled by the ocean but just held on,” said Strumpke.

Seeing the mother on the beach was the hardest part, “she was just crying and screaming, ‘my baby my baby please come back to me, I love you.’ It’s just. It was just horrible, just horrible,” recalled Strumpke.

Strumpke spent the night praying and walked the beach early Friday morning, “to see if I could see anything.”

She was not the only one still on edge.

“We were pretty upset, we didn’t know if we wanted to come down to the beach today, a lot of us are really hesitant to go in the water,” said Wendy O’Brien, visiting from Ohio.

O’Brien said the missing teen made her extra vigilant of her own kids.

“No matter how old your child is at this point you have to keep a tab on your child because the current is very dangerous. Or if you’re an adult I don’t care how good a swimmer you are you can still go under,” said O’Brien.

It is a sobering reminder, after a tragic accident

“I just hope everyone prays for the family,” said Strumke.

The US Coast Guard assisted in the search.

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