Search for Curtis Newkirk in Jacksonville now a recovery mission

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Search for Curtis Newkirk in Jacksonville now a recovery mission

The search for a missing 19-year-old swimmer who vanished off the Florida coast has turned into a recovery mission, according to police.Curtis Newkirk

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The search for a missing 19-year-old swimmer who vanished off the Florida coast has turned into a recovery mission, according to police.

Curtis Newkirk was last seen off the coast of Jacksonville Beach on Sunday at around 7:30pm, per the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

He was wearing blue Nautica swim shorts with a red and yellow design, police said on Facebook on Sunday night.

In an update posted at noon on Monday, the Jacksonville police department said Curtis still had not been found. 

When reached by phone on Monday afternoon, the department told DailyMail.com the mission was not to recover Curtis’ body. 

The search operation for Curtis Newkirk has turned into a recovery mission, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department

The search operation for Curtis Newkirk has turned into a recovery mission, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department

The search operation for Curtis Newkirk has turned into a recovery mission, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department

Curtis was last seen off the coast of Jacksonville Beach on Sunday at around 7:30pm

Curtis was last seen off the coast of Jacksonville Beach on Sunday at around 7:30pm

Curtis was last seen off the coast of Jacksonville Beach on Sunday at around 7:30pm

A group of about 11 people at the scene who said they were with Curtis' (not pictured)

A group of about 11 people at the scene who said they were with Curtis' (not pictured)

A group of about 11 people at the scene who said they were with Curtis’ (not pictured)

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Curtis’s sister Victoria had taken to social media earlier in the day to plead with the public for help finding her brother. 

‘Please reach out to me if you hear or see anything about my brother he is still missing,’ she wrote on Facebook on Monday morning. 

‘We won’t give up. We are heading out this morning,’ the siblings’ aunt Autencia Hampton said in a comment under her post of Curtis’ missing persons flyer.

Hampton also wrote a message on her own page asking for the public’s assistance.

‘I need all of my prayer warriors to call on heaven for us! We need him back,’ she wrote. ‘If anyone is in Jax beach area keep an eye out and call. My nephew went swimming yesterday and is still missing in the water.’

Aircrafts and boats with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and The Coast Guard assisted in the water search.

Curtis is described as being six-foot-one, and weighing 192 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

'Please reach out to me if you hear or see anything about my brother he is still missing,' said Curtis' sister Victoria on a Facebook post

'Please reach out to me if you hear or see anything about my brother he is still missing,' said Curtis' sister Victoria on a Facebook post

‘Please reach out to me if you hear or see anything about my brother he is still missing,’ said Curtis’ sister Victoria on a Facebook post

Aircrafts and boats with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and The Coast Guard assisted in the water search

Aircrafts and boats with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and The Coast Guard assisted in the water search

Aircrafts and boats with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and The Coast Guard assisted in the water search

Anyone with any information on Curtis’ whereabouts has been asked to contact the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 904-270-1667.

Bridgette Taggart, who witnessed the frantic search, told Action News Jax there was a group of about 11 people at the scene who said they were Curtis’ friends and family.

The group reportedly said they had been in the water together before they stepped off a sandbar.

The rip current had moved them far to the right, and they thought Curtis had already gotten out of the water by the time they got out.

It wasn’t until the group reached their towels that they realized Curtis was missing, according to Taggart.

A high rip current risk warning was in effect over Memorial Day weekend in Jacksonville Beach.

The Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue brought at least 15 people to shore on Sunday, and lifeguards rescued at least six people on Saturday, as reported by News 4 Ajax.

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