A New York high school graduate was praised as a hero after he died off a New Jersey beach saving two friends' lives while swimming.
Jalan Alston, 18, went missing Friday after he went in the water at Ventnor Beach to help his two friends who were struggling, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.
Alston pushed the swimmers toward the land but could not make it out of the water himself, the Coast Guard said. One of his friends called 911, and soon Coast Guard personnel were searching for the teen.
Alston's body was found Saturday after hours of searching, his family said. The Coast Guard said the search along with Ventnor City Police Department spanned 58 square-miles over 13 hours.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Jalan," said Capt. Jonathan Theel, commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay. "It's always difficult to suspend a case, and it weighs especially heavy on our hearts knowing that he was helping others."
Mark Alston, 23, told USA TODAY that his brother was always "really caring."
"He would do things for you, so it's not far out there that he did this," Mark Alston said.
Alston said his brother and the two people he saved were all in the water amid rough conditions from Tropical Storm Fay. Jalan was close to the beach and could have run to the land and called for help but instead went deeper into the water to save his friends, Mark Alston said.
"He's not here because he wanted to save people," Alston said.
Alston said his brother, who just graduated from George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn, wanted to become an engineer and planned to take the civil service exam in the fall. A GoFundMe was started to help the family cover funeral costs.
"I will always remember him as my little brother who saved two people," Alston said.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jalan Alston, New York graduate, saved friends at New Jersey shore