Reece Sweeney, 16, was discovered on the shoreline at Banff Bay following an overnight search by police and coastguard units.
He was reported missing during an early-morning dip with two friends on Saturday at Banff Bay in Aberdeenshire, near the mouth of the nearby River Deveron.
Reece, who lived locally, vanished in the early hours of Saturday.
A friend revealed the group was in shallow water when a wave struck and they were knocked off their feet.
One of the teenagers, named locally as Tony Fraser, 16, was in the water and reached the shore by grabbing hold of a metal brace.
Stephanie McKendrick, 17, said: "We were just having fun. We were in shallow water up to the top of ours legs. Then this wave hit us and we were swept away.
"The current was really strong. I'm a good swimmer but Reece wasn't.
"We both went under and I was trying to hold on to his hand, but when I came up he was not there.
"I shouted to him but there was no reply. I just managed to get to the shore, but I was freezing. There was no sign of Reece."
The ambulance service received an emergency call at about 2.30am on Saturday, saying somebody was in the water and in need of help.
The call was forwarded to the coastguard at Aberdeen and a major search and rescue attempt was launched.
Coastguard teams from Buckie, Portsoy, Banff and Gardenstown, the Macduff and Buckie RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth were all involved in the search operation.
Further searches were carried out on Sunday morning by police and the coastguard.
Reece's family had held on to the hope he may be alive for more than 24 hours.
However, Grampian Police later confirmed the discovery of the body and he was formally identified a short time later.
In a statement yesterday, the police said: "Following a police-co-ordinated search by HM Coastguard earlier this morning, the body of a young male was recovered from the shoreline at Banff Bay..
"The family of Reece Sweeney, who was reported missing near the mouth of the River Deveron, Banff, during the early hours of Saturday, have been informed of the discovery.
"We would take this opportunity to thank the local public and the various maritime partner agencies involved in the search for Reece, for their invaluable assistance during this tragic incident.
"The family request no contact from the media as they come to terms with their grief.
"A report will be sent to the procurator-fiscal.
Grampian Police is investigating the circumstances leading up to the three people being in the water.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has reminded members of the public to call 999 and ask for the coastguard if they get into difficulty on or along the coast.
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