Investigators in Nassau County are trying to determine if the body of a man that washed up on the shoreline on Monday afternoon is that of missing surfer Zachary Gottfried, who owns a surf shop in Amagansett.
Gottfried, who lived in Old Field, went missing in the waters off Gilgo Beach on Thursday. A “high surf” advisory had been issued on Long Island's South Shore beaches by the National Weather Service. Waves were reportedly 10 feet high.
Gottfried, 31, owned Island Riders surf shops in Amityville and he recently opened one at 538 Montauk Highway in Amagansett. They are full service kiteboarding, surfing and wakeboarding schools and stores, founded in 2004. According to the company website, he has been surfing Napeague Harbor since 2002.
The white male body was discovered on Jones Beach at around 3:50 p.m., near Parking Field 4, according to Thomas Duignan, Detective Sergeant for the New York State Park Police who responded to the scene. Duignan said the body is being taken to the Nassau University Medical Center morgue in East Meadow to determine the identity.
Since Gottfried was reported missing, police have been busy searching for his whereabouts in the areas of Robert Moses State Park and Jones Beach, according to Duignan.
The Nassau County Police Department have sent out a helicopter around Jones Beach each day since Gottfried went missing and the Babylon Department of Public Safety recovered a paddle belonging to the surfer Friday, Duignan said. State Park Police also received assistance in the search from the Long Beach Police Department, according to Duignan.
The U.S. Coast Guard, which has also taken part in the search for Gottfried, did not return calls seeking comment.
According to his bio on Dream Extreme, a kiteboarding clinic and benefit for Domestic Violence, Gottfried has been kiteboarding since 2001. "He is a dedicated and experienced kiteboarding instructor as well as a licensed captain," the bio said.
He was set to be one of the professionals during the clinic scheduled for this weekend in East Hampton.