Search suspended for missing swimmer at Stewart Beach

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Officials say the man was in about chest-deep water when he went missing.

The search for a missing 20-year-old Houston man who disappeared while in the water at Stewart Beach has been suspended by the Coast Guard.

The Galveston Beach Patrol says at around 2:40pm, a lifeguard pulled a man who appeared to be in distress out of the water. That man was OK, but said his friend, was missing.

Henry Lopez said he was swimming with his friend, Edgard Gonzalez, 20, who appeared to be pulled out by a current. Lopez said he tried to help Gonzalez, but the current was too strong so Lopez backed out. Gonzalez told Lopez that he was a strong swimmer. They were in chest-deep water at the time.

The Galveston Beach Patrol has been warning about strong currents over the past few days.

"We think this was not a rip current-related incident. We think what this had to do with was a really strong long-shore current, which runs parallel to the shore," said Peter Davis with the Galveston Beach Patrol.

Davis said Gonzalez was only 15 to 20 yards out and may have stepped in a deep trough.

A Coast Guard helicopter and boat searched a three-mile stretch of the beach and the Beach Patrol lifeguards searched for about an hour and a half. Rescue crews also used a jet ski to comb the water. The search ended at 8:30pm last night.

Our area has seen a couple drownings in the last two days. On Sunday, the body of a 7-year-old boy was pulled from a marina in Crosby.
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A second person has drowned in the San Jacinto River over the Fourth of July weekend.

And on Saturday, a man drowned while swimming at Banana Bend.

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Man drowns while swimming at Banana Bend.

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