Crews search for NC teen who vanished while swimming in flooded river

North Carolina news

Ethan Britt went missing while swimming in a flooded river earlier this week (WBTV/Family photo)

LOWELL, N.C. (WBTV) – Crews are searching for 14-year-old Ethan Danny Britt, who went missing while swimming in the South Fork Catawba River Monday night. 

Another teen was rescued after he became stranded on an island Tuesday morning.

Officials say the two went swimming in the South Fork Catawba River around 6:30 p.m. Monday in area off Stanly Spencer-Mountain Road in Lowell. 

Both teens were swept away in the current, officials said, and were taken over the dam.

Just after 4:30 p.m., officials released a photo of Britt. He is described as a white male, 5 feet 4 inches tall and 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes and a scar under his right eye.

Residents along the water are asked to be on the lookout for any signs of him.

On Tuesday morning, a passerby called 911 after seeing one person in the water. Rescue crews say they had to use a swift water boat to rescue the teen, which was difficult because of moving currents and debris.

During a press conference on Tuesday, officials said the teen who was rescued was able to grab onto trees growing on an island that was underwater due to the flooding.

Rescue crews are asking anyone who lives on the lake between the South Fork River and down to Lake Wylie to be on the lookout for the missing teen.

The name of the teen who rescued has not been released, but rescue crews said he was conscious and talking when he was transported.

Runoff from previous heavy rain has worked its way further downstream, the National Weather Service says. A flood warning remained in effect for the area Tuesday.

Residents say recent flooding in the area has caused water levels to rise extremely high.

“This is the highest I’ve ever seen it, this time of year,” 69-year Cramerton resident Herman Beaty says.

The sight includes things like shut-down piers and sunken picnic tables.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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