Ocean search continues for missing 8-year-old boy near Volusia County

File photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WESH) — Volusia County Beach Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard and even the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission spent Sunday scouring the waters off Volusia County, trying to find a swimmer who went missing on Saturday.

The search for the missing 8-year-old boy has stretched just south of the Flagler Avenue beach on-ramp in New Smyrna all the way south of the Daytona Beach Pier.

Sadly, no signs of Hezekiah Hill have been found.

Hill’s mother told WESH 2 Saturday that Hezekiah was happily playing in the surf when he got pulled out by the current.

His 11-year-old sister tried to rescue him but she was pulled under and had to be rescued by lifeguards. His sister is okay, but lifeguards were unable to find her brother.

Hezekiah’s mother is waiting out the search, surrounded by family who was with her for an Easter vacation.

“Children are always hard. Anyone is hard when you lose them in the surf but we gotta keep doing what we’re doing and preventative lifeguarding is the key,” Liz Driskell of Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue said.

Driskell added while they can’t search at night, they will keep looking during the day.

She said one reason the search area is so wide is the there is an extremely strong current that’s moving north so it possible the child could have been carried by the current up to Daytona.

Hezekiah Hill’s sister was kept overnight at the hospital for observation but was released.

The Hill family is from Orange County and stayed in a hotel in New Smyrna Saturday night thanks to the help of a good samaritan. Sunday, their hotel is being paid for by the Lifeguard Association.

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