KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WVEC) -- The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended it's search for a 4-year-old boy after he was pulled into the water Wednesday afternoon.
Crews were searching the waters off Lillian Street in Kitty Hawk. The Coast Guard launched a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Oregon Inlet to search for the boy around 4 p.m.
The Coast Guard said the child and mother had been walking along the beach when a wave came crashing in and swept the child away.
Coast Guard crews and local agencies searched a total of 130 square nautical miles for 10 hours.
At 8:30 p.m. the Coast Guard suspended its search.
"Suspending a search for anyone, let alone a young child, is the most difficult thing a commanding officer in the Coast Guard is called upon to do," said Capt. Bion Stewart, commander, Sector North Carolina. "I can't imagine what the family of this little boy is going through right now."
"It's so sad, I can't even imagine, I think about my babies now, and I mean it makes me want to cry, terrible," said Megan Rubino of Kitty Hawk.
13News Now spoke with a surfer who said the current was rougher than usual, and a little kid didn't stand a chance out there all alone.
The Kitty Hawk Police Department is not releasing the name of the boy at this time but they are planning a press conference at some point Thursday. The family was visiting the Outer Banks on vacation.
According to the Kitty Hawk Police Department, the USCG, Kitty Hawk Ocean Rescue, and Kitty Hawk Police Dept will continue the recovery process Thursday morning.
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