Strangers come together is search for girl who vanished while swimming in Galveston

GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- The search continues for a missing 12-year-old girl, who was last seen swimming with her friends Thursday.

Galveston Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis said a Coast Guard helicopter is flying back and forth along the Seawall and lifeguards are diving near the rocks.

Volunteers are searching, too.

Amanda Houston and Reva Fluellen were strangers until they met each other on the shore Friday morning. They're both mothers who live in Galveston.

"The worst thing any parent could get is that call," Houston said. "And that's what they've received. And we as a community want to help them find their daughter."

Fluellen said she lost her nephew a few years ago and empathizes with what these parents are going through.

"I just want to help. That's all I want," Fluellen said, "My heart is heavy. I heard about this yesterday and I couldn't sleep. It's been on my mind as I'm preparing my children to go to school this morning."

The beach patrol has extended to search area from two miles to eight.

"This is a lesson for how not to have this happen in the future," Davis said. "That's always the goal out of this is to take something positive."

Shaun Vater and his four children are vacationing in Galveston. He said he is not letting his kids out of his sight.

"We're a lot more close to them," Vater said. "Keeping them in front of me and off to the sides."

Beach patrol officers advise families to be extra careful while swimming and to let a lifeguard know where you are.
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