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Officials: Body found in water is swimmer who went missing at San Luis Pass

Sunday, June 23, 2013
An ABC13 viewer submitted this photo to news@abc13.com of the scene in Galveston near San Luis Pass where a body was found. Coast Guard, police, beach patrol, ambulaces and other emergency crews were at the scene.

An ABC13 viewer submitted this photo to news@abc13.com of the scene in Galveston near San Luis Pass where a body was found. Coast Guard, police, beach patrol, ambulaces and other emergency crews were at the scene. (iWitness Reports)

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The search for a missing swimmer ended this morning when crews found a body near San Luis Pass.

A jogger on the beach noticed the body around 7:15am, officials said. Around the same time, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted it in the water. They notified Galveston police, who recovered it.

Officials identified the victim as 21-year-old Marke Williams of Clear Lake. He disappeared Friday night while swimming with a friend at San Luis Pass. His friend saw him go under, but he never resurfaced. Police tell us the friend made it out OK.

Williams' body was found about one mile east of where he entered the water, officials said.

The San Luis Pass is notorious for its dangerous currents. There have been four drownings there in the past month.

"Every year the Coast Guard responds to multiple cases involving distressed persons in the water in the San Luis Pass area," said USCG Capt. Brian Penoyer. "Signage on all the beach access entrances indicate the known extreme conditions with currents and drop-offs and visual NO SWIMMING logos. Yet people still take a chance."

Galveston Beach Patrol is also urging people to be safe in this area and all other areas while enjoying the beaches and water this summer. They offer the following tips:

    Obey the signs
  • Don't swim near the ends of the island -- the Ship Channel and San Luis Pass
  • Never swim near piers and jetties
  • Swim in life-guarded areas
Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for additional details.

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