Crews rescued a woman from the Thames River in New London early Thursday morning after a sunset swim turned disastrous.
On Wednesday, a 20-year-old woman went for an evening swim at Mitchell College Beach in New London. When she didn’t return by 10:30 p.m., her mother called the New London Police Department to report her daughter missing.
According to a press release from the Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound, the mother reported her daughter usually returns home around the same time and that this was, “highly unusual and very concerning.”
Police found the missing woman’s clothes on the sand of Mitchell College, about a mile from the mouth of the Thames River.
The Coast Guard sent out a 29-foot response boat and started searching the water. The search area expanded toward Long Island Sound and kept expanding more than a mile, all the way to Ledge Light.
Around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, the woman was found clinging to the ledge in her wetsuit. The Coast Guard pulled her aboard the boat.
According to Chatwin, “She was OK, obviously a little cold, a little tired. Grateful to see the crew. And they gave her a ride back to shore.”
After being in the water for about four hours, the swimmer was brought to L&M Hospital for treatment. She is expected to be okay.
The Coast Guard reminds residents even experienced swimmers may struggle with strong currents. “Something that a lot of people don't realize is the effect the current can have on you when you're actually swimming in the water,” Nate Chatwin of the Coast Guard, said. “The tide was going out and the current was strong. If someone were to try to swim back against the current it'd be considerably more difficult.”