Body recovered of 8-year-old swept by rip current in Galveston

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Friday, May 14, 2021
Search continues for 8-year-old swept up by rip current
As crews continue searching for the boy swept up by a rip current in Galveston, beachgoers, especially families, express sorrow and fear about such a scenario.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The body of an 8-year-old boy who was swept up by a rip current in Galveston has been recovered.

Authorities said a beach-goer called 911 at 6:34 a.m. Friday as the child's body was on the shoreline just near the entrance to Spanish Grant subdivision. That's located about six miles west of where he disappeared in the water.

The Galveston County Medical Examiner identified the boy as Javon Traughber.

The video above is from a previous report when the search for the child was underway.

Crews had been looking for the child after he went missing Tuesday night near 37th Street and Seawall Boulevard.

Since the initial response to the emergency, crews expanded the search from 29th to 103rd along the seawall.

Galveston Beach Patrol used handheld sonar equipment new to the department to search for the boy.

Just shortly before Traughber went missing, the beach patrol activated a red flag, signaling potential for high surf or strong currents. Galveston Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis added they were operating under limited staffing during the week.

Additionally, Galveston County's Community Emergency Response Team was activated.

While there was a large search presence, beach patrol stated they didn't expect the child to resurface until Thursday or Friday due to the water temperature.

According to Davis, Traughber and his family were visiting from St. Louis. He added the family has routinely visited the island in recent years.

SEE ALSO: Rip currents: Safety tips and what to know

What you should do if you get caught in a rip current

With summer fast approaching, more people may be hitting the water.

If you plan to go to the beach, you should be aware of rip currents and what to do if you get caught in one.

Rip currents are a narrow channel of water that flows away from the beach and can quickly carry you out to sea. They're often underestimated and potentially deadly since they are subtle, but powerful.

Instead of trying to swim back against the current, you need to first escape it.

Swim parallel to the beach to break the rip current, then swim back in to shore.

The National Weather Service advises that you check its forecast for local beach conditions before you leave for the beach. When you get there, ask lifeguards about rip currents and other hazards.

Galveston officials are reminding the public to swim near a lifeguarded station, observe warning signs and flags, and avoid swimming near structures like groins, piers, or jetties because of the constant presence of dangerous rip currents in those areas.