Crews searching for young man who vanished during night swim at NC coast

North Carolina news

Ian William Malson in a photo from WECT.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – Several agencies continue to search for a 21-year-old man last seen swimming near Palm Tree Island.

MST2 Jeff Mcconnell of the Coast Guard confirms crews were called to search for the man around 10:38 p.m. Saturday.

The man and his friends were swimming near Palm Tree Island before his friends realized he didn’t make it back to the boat and called for help.

Palm Tree Island in a WECT photo

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office identified the missing man as Ian William Malson. He was last seen wearing blue shorts and a purple shirt. Malson is described as being 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighing around 130 pounds.

Saturday night, the Coast Guard worked with New Hanover County to search for him by air and by boat.

At first light Sunday, they resumed the search, with help from local volunteers and a helicopter brought in from Elizabeth City.

Palm Tree Island, a popular Wrightsville Beach landmark, became a party destination last summer.

Lt. Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office confirms the sheriff’s office is investigating.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is also helping search for the missing swimmer.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 910-798-4261. To remain anonymous, you can visit this link to submit a tip.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.

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