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      Rescue crews call off search for missing surfer

      North Myrtle Beach crews have called off the search for a surfer who went missing Friday afternoon.

      North Myrtle Beach Public Safety personnel met Saturday morning with the family of the 19-year-old man who went missing while surfing in the ocean in the Cherry Grove Pier area and informed them that the active search for him has come to an end.

      City of North Myrtle Beach spokesman Pat Dowling says lifeguards and Beach Patrol personnel will continue to monitor the beach as part of a continuing recovery effort.

      Tyler Hodges said he and the teen are close friends. Hodges has been watching the search efforts.

      "Even a total stranger, he'd go up to you and greet you like he'd known you his whole life and that's how we meet, surfing at Cherry Grove Beach, saw him out in the water, new guy out there and he just came right up to me," Hodges said holding back tears.

      Oceanfront jurisdictions in North Carolina have been informed of what occurred so that they, too, can monitor their beaches.

      Crews were called out Friday at 1:15 p.m. They say they found the surfboard Friday, but the teen was still missing.

      A Coast Guard helicopter out of Charleston also helped search for the missing surfer.

      Surf instructor Wyatt Todd said every precaution should be taking when surfing, "The ocean is a dangerous place. You always just got to be looking around and knowing what's around you and always you want to take a surfing buddy out there with you just for someone to keep an eye on you just in case something does happen because things can go wrong real quick out there."