23-Year-Old Man Goes Missing Off Long Island Coast While Swimming with Friend

East Hampton Town Police believe the two men were pulled out by a rip current

East Hampton, New York Beach
An East Hampton beach on Long Island. Photo: Dan Callister/Shutterstock

A search is underway for a missing swimmer off the coast of Long Island after authorities believe he and a friend got pulled into a strong rip current.

The East Hampton Town Police Department confirmed in a press release obtained by PEOPLE that they kicked off their search on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after receiving a report of two males who were in need of assistance in front of Windward Shores Ocean Resort in Amagansett.

Witnesses at the scene, which is located between Amagansett and Montauk, reported that the two swimmers "appeared to be struggling while swimming in the surf before being pulled under," according to East Hampton police.

One of the swimmers, a 23-year-old man, eventually resurfaced and was removed from the water, authorities confirmed in the press release. He regained consciousness and was transported to Stony Brook Southampton Hospital for evaluation.

As for the other swimmer, also a 23-year-old man from New York City, he never resurfaced and remains missing, East Hampton police said.

A multi-agency search includes personnel from the East Hampton Ocean Rescue Squad, a Coast Guard HC-144 aircraft based in Cape Cod and the Suffolk County police aviation unit, according to local outlet The Independent.

Authorities searched for the missing man into Tuesday evening but were forced to pause the effort by 9 p.m. because it became dark, according to the local outlet. Officials then continued their search efforts at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

"We’ll certainly continue the search as long as we can safely and practically deploy all the personnel from the various different agencies," Captain Chris Anderson told the outlet.

Based on a preliminary investigation, Police Lieutenant John B. Claflin tells PEOPLE that authorities believe a rip current was a "contributing factor" in the incident but notes that they will continue to look into the matter further.

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Anderson also confirmed to The Independent that there are no lifeguards at the beach and the two men were not guests at Windward Shores Ocean Resort.

The National Weather Service issued a rip current warning for Suffolk County beaches at 12:22 p.m. Tuesday until 9 p.m., writing, "Life-threatening rip currents are likely for all people entering the surf zone," according to the local outlet.

Around 12:45 p.m., nearly half an hour after the swimmers first experienced trouble, beaches in the Amagansett area had yellow flags on the shoreline, indicating to swimmers that the waters may have dangerously high surf, currents or undertows, The Independent reported.

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