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Body of Worthington teen found in South Carolina

Authorities say the body of a Worthington teenager who went missing Sunday while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South Carolina has been recovered.

After a multi-agency search, divers on Monday recovered the body of Franklin “Eric” Clark, according to the Beaufort County sheriff’s office.

The Beaufort County coroner’s office has scheduled an autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina to confirm the cause of death, which based on witness accounts appears to have been an accidental drowning.

Clark was with a group of Thomas Worthington High School basketball players who were swimming off the coast of Fripp Island.

Clark apparently became caught in an undertow about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office told a television station. The boys were there for a team training camp, according to Pete Scully, the school’s principal.

According to television station WJCL in Savannah, Georgia, island officials said three players were caught in the rough waters. A coach was able to pull two to safety.

Kate Hines with the local property owners’ association said the boys were in about 8 feet water when Clark went under. The initial search on Sunday failed to locate the teenager and was suspended at nightfall. The U.S. Coast Guard, Beaufort Marine Rescue and Fripp Island Security all assisted in the search.

Hines said Clark was visiting Fripp Island for the third year in a row with the basketball team, which rents a house with their coach for summer training camp.

“We are obviously devastated by what has happened. The kids and the staff are struggling,” Scully said. “We are hoping and praying they find him.”

In a note to Thomas Worthington High School parents and students, Scully asked that they keep Clark’s family and friends in their thoughts and prayers.


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