POSTED: Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 5:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — An 18-year-old Bayonne, New Jersey man remains missing after he was pulled into a rip current while swimming with three friends Wednesday.
"The wave grabbed him far away from me," friend Andrew Messiha said. "I was standing near the shore. He called for help but no one came because there was no lifeguard."
Friends and family kept vigil on the Seaside Park beach into the night, crying and praying as they waited for news of Bastafros Faris.
"I came here to be watchful with them," said family priest Rev. Bishoy Khalil of the Virgin Mary Church and Saint John in Bayonne. "His friends are devastated by the loss of a good boy and very good friend."
Faris and his friends were sucked into the currents late Wednesday afternoon; rescuers managed to retrieve the three other swimmers, but Faris has still not been found.
Seaside Park police shut down O Street Beach, and along with the Coast Guard, conducted a water and air search for the missing teen near the beach.
"It's very unusual to deal with these rip currents this time of year," said Police Chief Francis Larkin. "Usually, it's hurricane season in September."
Rescuers elsewhere along the Jersey Shore were busy responding to near-drownings from the strong rip currents.
In Perth Amboy, two children were rescued from the water by a 36-year-old bystander and his 17-year-old son.
The Good Samaritans were able to successfully administer CPR on one of the children.
In Asbury Park, two adult swimmers were pulled underwater; one was rescued, but the other was still missing.