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Swimmer who went missing off New Jersey coast identified

WILDWOOD, N.J. - Authorities say a swimmer from Philadelphia who went missing in the ocean off the coast of New Jersey was not found after an exhaustive search. The Wildwood Police Department said 19-year-old Alfred Williams was among a group of four swimmers who needed to be rescued from the water last Tuesday. Emergency crews responded to the beach near Andrews Avenue around 4 p.m. and observed two swimmers in distress at least 100 yards off the shore. The two swimmers were pulled from the water by members of the Wildwood Fire Department, according to authorities. A 3-year-old girl is in critical condition after being rescued from a pool in Camden County, and three people were pulled from the ocean off the coast of Wildwood.

As the summer fun begins, experts are stressing the importance of water safety.Police later learned that a third swimmer who was with the group managed to swim to shore before emergency crews arrived. Several agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard and local off-duty lifeguards, joined the search for a fourth swimmer who was later identified as Williams. The Coast Guard used a MH-65 Rescue Helicopter with sensitive search equipment to scour the water for the missing swimmer. The search for Williams lasted for several hours and eventually yielded negative results, authorities said. "At this point, the investigation has turned into a recovery mission," an update from the Wildwood Police Department read. AdvertisementThe department remained beachgoers to only enter the ocean when a lifeguard is on duty.

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