Coast Guard recovers body of swimmer who went missing off Crane Beach in Ipswich

IPSWICH, MASS. (WHDH) - The Coast Guard has recovered the body of a swimmer who went missing off Crane Beach in Ipswich on Friday morning, officials said.

Search crews using boats and helicopters found the body of 24-year-old Eric Pecina, of Ipswich, shortly before 5 p.m. hours after he disappeared while trying to swim from Crane Beach to Plum Island, according to Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas.

Officers responding to a report of a possible person in the water around 9:30 a.m. found a backpack unattended on the beach.

Following a brief investigation, officers were able to determine that the backpack and a car parked outside a closed gate both belonged to Pecina.

Investigators say they believe Pecina arrived at the beach sometime prior to 8 a.m. and Nikas says he wasn’t wearing a wet suit when he entered the water to swim a two-mile loop.

Pecina’s body was found about two miles from where search crews believed he entered the water and he was pronounced dead on site.

The water temperature off the coast on Friday was just 45 degrees and the wind was howling.

Ipswich police and fire, Massachusetts State Police, and Massachusetts Environmental Police assisted the Coast Guard with the search.

Nikas warned residents that the water will not warm up until “July or August.”

“These waters are dangerous. You make one mistake with water and it’s unforgiving,” Nikas said.

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

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