As His Mother Watched, Rogue Wave Swept Boy to His Death

The body of 4-year-old Wesley Belisle was found 5 days after he was swept out to sea
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2018 1:34 PM CDT
Boy, 4, Swept Away by Rogue Wave on Family Vacation
A man runs along the sand in Kitty Hawk, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds)

The body of a 4-year-old boy has been found five days after a rogue wave swept him out to sea during a family vacation to the Outer Banks, a popular tourist destination in North Carolina. "Under the watchful eye of the attending parents while walking along the shore" in Kitty Hawk, Wesley Belisle "was swept from his mother into the ocean and carried away by the current," the Kitty Hawk Police Department said in a Facebook post Wednesday. The boy's mother "subsequently lost sight of him in the surf," the Coast Guard said last week, per People. The family was visiting from New Hampshire, and Wesley was their only child, police told WAVY.

After 10 hours, the search for Wesley was suspended, which the commander of the Coast Guard’s North Carolina sector called "the most difficult thing a commanding officer in the Coast Guard is called upon to do." The search effort transitioned to a recovery effort, and on Monday morning, the boy's body was found on Carova Beach, about 34 miles north of Kitty Hawk, WSOC reports. "Wesley's family has been notified and are making arrangements for him to be transported back to New Hampshire," Kitty Hawk PD says on Facebook. "We hope that the outpouring of compassion and offers of support, thoughts and prayers to the Belisle family from people all over the world can bring them some amount of solace in this time of tremendous grief." (More rogue waves stories.)

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