FRIPP ISLAND, SC (AP/WCMH) – Sheriff’s deputies in South Carolina have found the body of an Ohio teen who was missing in the water off a coastal island.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said the body of Eric Clark of Worthington, Ohio, was recovered from the ocean just after noon off Fripp Island.
Kate Hines with the local property owners’ association says the boy was reported missing around 2:30 p.m. Sunday while swimming with friends in about 8-foot deep water.
Deputies said those swimming with Clark think he was caught in an undertow. The other swimmers made it out safely.
Hines said Clark was visiting Fripp Island for the third year in a row with his basketball team. The team and their coach rent a house each year to spend some time vacationing together.
Worthington City Schools issued the following statement:
In addition to being a valuable member of the boys basketball team, Eric was a key TWHS football player and part of the Entrepreneurial Business Academy program. Eric was known for his natural ability to lead, a kind heart, his strong work ethic and an easygoing nature. Adults often described him as wise beyond his years.
Teammates of Clark expressed their sadness and shock over what has happened.
Travis Sanders has grown close to Clark over the past two years. Sanders just graduated and is attending college in the fall. He will be playing on the school’s football team.
Sanders says, on the field, Clark was a phenomenal player with football IQ off the charts. Off the field, he was kind, funny and like to make people smile. In both arenas Clark was ferociously dedicated to what he put his mind to.
Dijahn Davis has been playing football with Clark since they were in seventh grade. He is still processing the news of Clark’s death. For him, it’s difficult to believe.
Other teammates recalled some of their favorite moments spent with Clark, but nearly every recollection boiled down to how impressed they were with the young man.
His teammates want to make sure his drive and dedication are remembered, so they are already trying to plan something for next season.
In the meantime, they want to explore the possibility of fundraising in his name to donate to his family.