ATLANTIC CITY — The search for two missing teen swimmers resumes Friday as a recovery mission.

The U.S. Coast Guard joined the Atlantic City Beach Patrol last night in the search for 15-year-old Kalia Spence, and an unidentified boy who were seen struggling in the water off Martin Luther King Boulevard around 7 p.m.

Atlantic City Beach Patrol Chief Steve Downey told the Press of Atlantic City that Spence was in trouble and the boy went in after her. Spence's father Dirk told the newspaper the boy is a hero. "It’s a tragedy. Let’s all come together, no matter good or bad, we can make it through," Spence told the newspaper.

Downey said the search will resume on Friday morning as a recovery mission.

Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian told the newspaper the surf was rough on Thursday night.

The incident happened the same night as two cousins were pulled from the surf in Belmar. One of the girls died while the other is on life support. The strong under current was likely a factor.

"The threat of dangerous rip currents increased yesterday due to a wind shift to an easterly (on-shore) direction. A moderate risk of rip currents will continue for Friday and the upcoming weekend," NJ 101.5 Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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