First Drowing of the Year Along the Local Beaches

A relaxing day for a teenager ended in tragedy Saturday night at Panama City Beach.

The 18-year-old Hispanic teen drowned while swimming with two companions in the Gulf behind the Boardwalk Beach Resort on Thomas Drive.

An eyewitness says several of the teenagers got into trouble around 4:30 Saturday afternoon while swimming past the first sand bar. Two of them were rescued and brought to shore.

Rosemary Cantelli was one of those who tried to help. She says they tried to rescue him, but couldn’t find him after he went under. They searched for several hours.

His body finally washed up some four hours later. Panama City Beach Police say the victim was an 18-year-old Hispanic male from Mexico with ties to Pensacola.

His identity was not immediately made public.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.