Emerald Isle police said the teen, who has yet to be identified, and his friend were caught in a rip current while swimming on Saturday.
One of the boys, a 16-year-old, was rescued by a surfer and brought ashore. He was taken to Carteret HealthCare before being airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. He is listed in critical condition.
The U.S. Coast Guard, along with Emerald Isle officials, searched for days trying to find the missing 17-year-old.
The boys’ names have not yet been released. Police said that the teens were visiting Emerald Isle for the day.