Two helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City helped search for a New York man missing off a Delaware beach Saturday, but the man was never found and is presumed drowned.

Petty Officer Cynthia Oldham said the man, described as being about 30, was at a beach on the south side of Indian River Inlet with his young children at about 8 a.m. when for some reason he ended up in the water. Oldham said the man, whose name was not released, did not know how to swim.

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A Coast Guard officer who serves at Station Indian River was at the beach at the time and a search commenced immediately. Station Indian River searched with a 47-foot boat while Air Station Atlantic City sent two helicopters. The Delaware State Police and emergency crews from Bethany Beach and Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control also took part.

Oldham said the search was terminated at about 3:30 p.m. Oldham said the man may have waded in and been hit by a wave, though exactly how he got into the water is unclear.

“People need to be made aware of how dangerous the ocean is,” Oldham said.

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Worked as a reporter for various weekly newspapers in Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties before joining The Press many moons (and editors) ago as a business copy editor. Passionate about journalism, averse to serial commas.

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