Authorities suspend search for missing swimmer off Boca Grande beach

June 18, 2016
By Marcy Shortuse

Photo by Andrew Sanger

JUNE 19:
The search for the missing swimmer,  Javier Castro of Cape Coral, has been suspended this evening.
Castro and his family were swimming off Range Light Beach on Saturday when the incident occurred. While on a sandbar just offshore three of his siblings realized too late the current was getting strong and they couldn’t get back to shore. Castro was attempting to help them when he was swept up in the current.
His family members were rescued. He is still missing.
On June 18, 2016 at approximately 3:40 pm the Lee County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a swimmer that were in need of rescue. Four swimmers had been enjoying swimming in the Gulf in the area of one of the lighthouses in Boca Grande. They had been on a sandbar and as the current began to shift outbound, the waves and current were too much for them.
Beach-goers began the rescue of the 4 swimmers and called for help. Two females and one male were rescued.
The search for the fourth person, a 21 year old male, began.
A Command Post was established and a search and rescue mission began with multi-agency response. The participating agencies included the US Coast Guard, LCSO Deputies and Marine Units, Florida Wildlife Commission, Charlotte County and Cape Coral Marine Units, Boca Grande Fire Department and Englewood Fire Department.
Multiple air assets as well as boats have been on-scene conducting the search. The United States Coast Guard is the lead on the rescue efforts which continue.
June 18: Local authorities are searching for a 20-year-old male off the coast of Boca Grande. The search began at approximately 4 p.m. off Range Light Beach.
Authorities say the missing man and another swimmer were swept away by the current. One man was rescued, the other was given a life vest by the driver of the jet ski. When good Samaritans returned to retrieve the second man, he could not be located. He is wearing a black life jacket and red shorts.
Several agencies have been searching by air and by water for the missing man.
Photo by Ashley Scarpa
Photo by Ashley Scarpa