BELMAR - Police say a body found in the Shark River Inlet has been identified as that of a 17-year-old diver who went missing there this weekend.
Avon Police Chief Terrence Mahon tells NJ.com Jeffrey Hoens was identified by the medical examiner based on the photograph on his driver's license after his body was found by divers Sunday.
Authorities had been looking for the Westfield boy since he was reported missing around 5 p.m. Saturday. They say the teen was a free diver, meaning he wasn't using scuba gear, and had been spear fishing when he disappeared.
Coast Guard boat and helicopter rescue crews were dispatched to the scene and searched throughout most of the night before resuming their efforts Sunday morning.
“The Saint Peter's Prep community mourns the loss of our brother, Jeffrey Hoens, '17, who passed away this weekend,” the teen’s school wrote in a statement over the weekend.
Officials say that no matter how skilled a diver may be, respecting the water is crucial.
"You have to respect the currents, the ocean, and you always have to have somebody with you," Mahon said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.