A 4-year-old boy was swept out to sea when a rogue wave hit the beach and quickly pulled him away from his mother, sweeping him into the open ocean waters. The wave suddenly appeared and slammed violently into the shoreline. Just as suddenly, that rogue wave withdrew taking the little boy out to the deep ocean with its overwhelming power.

The boy, who was from Manchester, New Hampshire, was visiting relatives in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with his parents when a walk along the beach turned tragic. The little boy was ripped from his mother when a gigantic wave roared in, sweeping the family off their feet and carrying the child out to sea.

Gone - carried out to sea

The mother of the boy scoured the water for her son, but when another wave followed, she lost sight of the child. The search for the boy turned up his hat about an hour later, almost two miles from the spot on the beach where the boy was washed out to sea.

Search and Rescue

According to MSN News, the U.S. Coast Guard embarked on a search of 130 square miles with a helicopter and boats, but the hat was the only sign of the child. News of the boy missing in the waters off the outer banks quickly spread and people from all over came to the area to join in on the search.

Search suspended

The search for the boy was suspended by the Coast Guard at 8:30 PM, Thursday night.

The boy vanished in that wave at about 4 PM local time. Captain Bion Stewart, a commander of the North Carolina sector gave a statement to the press.

Stewart conveyed how hard it is to call off a search, especially when it is for a small child, such as in this case. He said he cannot imagine what the family is going through today.

Just a walk along the beach

It was a warm spring day with the sun shining along the coastline of the Outer Banks, a day just perfect for a walk along the beach. The surf can get rough along the Outer Banks and this is not the first time someone has been swept out into the ocean by the huge waves that suddenly crash on to the coastline.

People from all over join the search

The teams that joined in on this search were not just composed of locals, but people came from other areas to help search for the boy. Reports indicate one man scanned the ocean water from above for a few hours in his powered paraglider, which is discussed in the video below.

There is no sign of the boy so far today. According to local authorities, they have been inundated with calls from professional search teams as well as regular people who are offering their help in this search today.

Search and Rescue turns Search and Recovery

According to the Kitty Hawk Police Department Facebook page, authorities released a statement which included, "due to the wind, currents and other environmental conditions we cannot pinpoint a specific area for searching." They continued by suggesting they will welcome anyone who wants to search.

All the efforts are in the "recovery" mode today.

The authorities also request that if anyone in the area finds something that may warrant closer inspection to please contact the police. The 4-year-old boy's name was not released, but he is the only child of his parents, who hail from Manchester, New Hampshire, according to the Boston Globe.