Two swimmers missing off of Hunting Island - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Another body found off of Hunting Island


The body of a swimmer was discovered Monday morning in a search-and-recovery effort off of Hunting Island.

The body was found on the south end of the beach at 9:29 a.m. Monday. 

The family told WTOC that the body is that of 38-year-old Tiem Mok. Mok, his 16-year-old son and a 17-year-old were reported missing at about 4:45 p.m. Sunday. 

"His young son, he says everyone has a dad except for him. His dad takes him to school. His dad was posed to buy him things. He's the backbone for the whole family," said Kim Pal, cousin.

Family members tell WTOC that the other missing swimmer is their 17-year-old cousin from Philadelphia. 

"Everyone is still hanging on hope that they find him. Everyone's hoping he washes to shore somewhere," said Pal.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, the body of a teen was recovered. The family told WTOC that the body is that of 16-year-old Nathan Mok. 

Julianna Lun, Mok's 14-year-old neice, told police they all were struggling against strong currents. Thanks to the help of a teenage boy, Juliana made it back to the shore. She told WTOC that she would not be alive if it had not been for the boy who helped her.

"I want to thank the young man that helped me yesterday. He saved me. He came to me and told me to swim to him, so I did, and that's what got me to the shore. Please come by camp 170, I want to thank you. Thank you very much for everything," said Lun.

Others tried to help the three swimmers.

"The current was pushing us down the coast or back up the coast as it was pulling them down the coast simultaneously. The three stayed together and then we just lost site of them after that," said Mark Phillips, witness.

No foul play is suspected in the incident, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. Autopsies of the recovered victims are pending at MUSC. The identity of the third victim is being withheld pending notification of immediate family.

The search making the unfortunate shift from a rescue mission, to a recovery mission.

"Once you get past what we would call a viable timeframe, which unfortunately has passed since yesterday for our assistance, it has transitioned. It's not something we are comfortable with but something we have done in the past," said St. Helena Fire Public Affairs Officer Lee Levesque. 

The more time that passes, the more ground they are forced to cover. 

"The further we get into the incident our search will start to expand somewhat just up and down the beach - maybe a little bit further offshore," said Michael Paul Thomas, of the Department of Natural Resources. The family just arrived Sunday for their annual family vacation. 

A source told WTOC that the grandmother and grandfather were taken to the hospital late Sunday night after they found out what had happened five hours later. They have heart problems, according to the source.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Coast Guard, Fripp and Lady's Island Fire Departments and Hunting Island Park Rangers are assisting with the search.

Copyright 2013 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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