Police say he was swimming outside the designated swimming area.
Hoffmann said his body was found in between 25 and 30 feet of water.
“We participated in a human chain and fire department staff swam outside the buoys,” Hoffmann said.
Close to two dozen civilians and first-responders worked shoulder-to-shoulder conducting a line search in the water when a firefighter called out, “I got him!”
The teen was pulled from the water, not far from the swimming area’s buoy line, and taken to a waiting ambulance.
According to Barrie police, he was visiting the city from outside the country. His name has not bee released, or from where he was visiting.
After he was pulled from the water, he was accompanied by a woman inside the ambulance, which remained at the scene for a few minutes.
The ambulance departed the beach shortly after 7 p.m. with its lights and sirens activated along with a police escort.
At around the same time, police began to cordon off the area and shut down the beach.
Before the teen was located, Melissa Sipos, an employee at Kezington Burger Bar’s Centennial Beach location, said she spoke to a woman whom she believed was the teen’s mother.
“I went out with her to pray. I was helping her out — helping her breathe,” she said. “It seemed like she lost all hope.”
Sipos said as she watched the search for the teen continue, she turned to her faith.
“I just kept thinking about God,” she said.
Another woman at the scene, who did not provide her name, said the tragedy hit close to home.
“I’ve got a daughter who is 16. I can’t imagine what the mother is going through,” she said.