Body of girl found off Hampton Beach

5:57 PM, May 31, 2011   |    comments
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HAMPTON BEACH, N.H. (NEWS CENTER) -- The Coast Guard says the body of a 12-year-old girl from Massachusetts has been recovered off Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

The girl was reported missing just before 8 p.m. Monday. Hampton police identified the missing girl as Nayelin Encarnacion, of Lawrence, Mass.

Officials say Nayelin began having difficulty in the water. Her 20-year-old brother tried to rescue her, but then he also began having trouble with currents in the water. He was rescued by others.

The water temperature was around 55 degrees. Several Coast Guard boats and aircraft were used in the search, along with boats from New Hampshire's Marine Patrol.

"It is a tragedy to lose a child," said Helene Renaud, as she sat next to a growing memorial on the boardwalk. "I just can't imagine how the family is feeling.  Somebody needs to do something for her, to let people know that we are thinking about her and her family."

Around 12:30 Tuesday afternoon, Coast Guard officials were about to officially call of their search for the girl, when some swimmers found her body just off shore, near the same area where she went missing on Monday.

"A couple people pulled out a body, and at first I thought someone else drowned, cause I heard girls screaming around me," said Roberto Romero, who was swimming nearby.  "I feel sad about it."

Romero, his brother Miguel and friend Amber, had come to the beach from Lawrence and said the tragedy hit's close to home.

"One thing to remember is the air temperature was 85 degrees yesterday, it is pretty warm today, but we had a pretty cold spring, so the ocean temperature hasn't had the time to warm up," stated Chief David Andreesen, from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor.  "It is still in the low 50's, which is not typical for this time of year, so even though the air temperature on the beach is 85 degrees, if you are in the water long enough, hypothermia will set in."

Officials also said while the beach was safe to swim at, all swimmers should be aware of what to do if they become caught in an undertow current or rip tide.  They advise people not to panic and swim parallel to shore until they are no longer in the current, then swim back to shore.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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