The search for a 17-year-old boy who went missing while swimming at Candlewood Lake in New Milford on Memorial Day has now turned into a recovery mission, officials said Tuesday.
Emergency crews were called out for the possible drowning Monday after the teen was reported missing. Police said he was swimming with at least two friends when he became distressed, disappeared and went under the water as they were swimming from one island to another.
Boaters and good Samaritans immediately began searching the water in the area between Dike Point Park and Rock Island. Then police, rescue crews and divers took over until Monday night.
"The area where they were is an unattended swimming area. It's not exactly an area where it's monitored by the property owners so you know, it is kind of a swim at your own risk situation and we always encourage people to swim in locations where there are lifeguards available and other resources. And if they do get in trouble, you know, they have that immediately available to them," said New Milford Police Lt. Lawrence Ash.
Crews from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Newtown Underwater Search and Rescue and New Milford Rescue are all on the scene and will continue to search for him on Tuesday.
The divers are currently searching in what police said was murky water with depths of nine to 30 feet.
The Connecticut State Police Dive Team has also been contacted to respond as an extra resource because they have more advanced technology.
"It's always difficult in conditions like this. Visibility is limited as far as the lake. Visibility is reduced to feet so those are some of the challenges and other things in the lake that could present as a person. For instance, stumps, rocks, that kind of stuff also have to be checked out. So every angle of this search is being checked and that's kind of some of the challenges we face now," Lt. Ash added.
According to authorities, there is no foul play suspected and nothing appears suspicious.
The water is chilly, with temperatures around 60 degrees.
Police have not released the missing teen's name, however, his family has been notified.