A 13-year-old Alexandria boy was swept into the Atlantic near Nags Head, N.C., Thursday evening when a large wave struck the fishing boat he was riding.

Rescuers said yesterday they had been unable to locate the youth, identified as David Meserole.

He was returning with his parents and several other passengers from a day-long fishing trip when the 58-foot boat, Inlet Queen, was hit by a wave, Coast Guard authorities reported.

The Coast Guard and the National Park Service immediately mounted an extensive sea and air search that is expected to continue through the weekend. Two helicopters and 10 boats from the Oregon Inlet area where Meserole was knocked overboard have been assisting in the search effort.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Martinez said witnesses had estimated the wave that hit the boat was 20 feet high. It knocked another passenger unconscious, fractured the hand of a second and lacerated a third passenger's hand, he said.

Martinez said Meserole's parents had reported that their son, who was not wearing a life jacket aboard the chartered fishing boat, was not considered a good swimmer.

The Coast Guard planned to keep patrolling the area, including the beaches, despite high winds which were hampering the search effort.