Search Teams Looking to Recover Missing Alabama Teen

GULF COUNTY, Fla. - An Alabama family is holding out hope after a teenager went missing in St. Joseph Bay. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Alexander Henry Wise IV, 19,  went missing after he and another teen, Gavin Primm, were involved in a boating accident on the Fourth of July.

By Thursday morning, the search and rescue turned into a search and recovery.

"The family has pretty much accepted the issue that's now a recovery effort. We're working on getting that closure for them," said Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search Wednesday afternoon, however other agencies including the Gulf County Sheriff's Office, the Bay County Sheriff's Office, and a volunteer group; 'Wewa Search and Rescue', are still combing the waters.

FWC said Wise and Primm were thrown off their jet skis when trying to do some maneuvers in front of their friend's boat.

Primm was rescued and is in stable condition.

The driver of the boat Robert Brutkiewics,19, was not injured, and neither were the other four passengers.

Bay County Sheriff's divers, along with civilians have also joined the efforts.

"We got a lot of boats in the water. We got divers that are hitting spots. We've got three K-9s that are taking the odors, that may be presenting themselves," said Harrison.

The Florida Highway Patrol were also assisting Thursday.

"We've utilized all the resources that we can. We had a necessary maintenance in some of the helicopters that had to be conducted. We were able to call in with Florida Highway Patrol. They had their fixed-wing aircraft in the system," said Harrison.

Although it's now a recovery effort, search crews are hoping for closure.

"We spoke with the family yesterday and we were not even discussing any kind of drawback or draw-down until we're at 72 hours. At that point we'll reassess then - but right now we're just hoping and praying something will happen," said Harrison.

Harrison says the search will continue Friday.

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