When authorities realized Hammond was missing, firefighters, beach patrol divers and swimmers canvassed the sea and jetty using ropes and rescue gear, while Ocean City firefighters, the state police's marine unit and the U.S. Coast Guard hopped on jet skis and boats to search deeper waters.
A boater reported seeing a body floating in the ocean just south of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Hammond's mother, Tasha, sat on the beach in the days before his body was found. She told reporters that he was a recent graduate of Grover Washington Jr. Middle School and had tagged along with a friend to the beach to celebrate his move from Philadelphia to Ocean City.
Swimming is prohibited on Ocean City beaches after 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. But enough people ignore the prohibition that the beach patrol created a Rapid Response team several years ago; the patrol, which operates 5 to 8 p.m. in the summer months, has made countless rescues, police said.
"We discourage people from swimming after-hours and to only swim at guarded beaches," Ocean City Fire and Rescue spokesman Chief Chris Breunig said in a statement.
On Twitter: @DanaDiFilippo