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Body of missing Marine found off North Topsail Beach

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TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (AP) -- Police say the body of a Marine who drowned after being caught in a rip current off North Topsail Beach was found near where he disappeared.

The body of Lance Corporal James Thomas Bullen was found within ten feet of the shore near the Myrtle Drive beach access Saturday night.

Bullen's body was pulled ashore by members of the North Topsail Beach fire and police departments.

Authorities responded shortly after 3 p.m. Saturday to reports that two men were caught in a riptide about a mile south of the New River Inlet. The two men, including Bullen, were part of a group of three Marines and a civilian who were at the beach that afternoon.

While the other Marine was pulled ashore by the third, Bullen went underwater before he could be rescued.

Bullen was with the Weapons Training Battalion at Camp Lejeune. A base spokesman says his family in Richmond, Kentucky, has been notified.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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