OCEAN CITY, MD. (Sept. 17, 2014) — After a busy afternoon on the beach when members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol were preparing to call it a day after pulling five people out of rip currents, including one man who died, when one an off-duty lifeguard noticed a body boarder in distress in the area of 12th Street and the beach who soon became the second fatality in one day.
The lifeguard quickly called for assistance and immediately entered the water, swimming south toward the distressed swimmer.
At approximately 5:45 p.m., multiple off-duty beach patrol employees responded back to the beach to assist in the rescue. In addition, Ocean City Fire Department rescue swimmers and Ocean City police officers responded to the scene, which unfolded near the area of 9th Street and beach.
The swimmer, a 49-year-old male from Rosedale, MD, was treated on scene and transported by Ocean City EMS to Atlantic General Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
“Today is a sad day for the entire Ocean City community,” said Director of Emergency Services, Joe Theobald. “Throughout the day, our lifeguards were educating the public about the rough surf and dangerous rip currents. Our emergency personnel did an extraordinary job and had they not responded as quickly and professionally as they did, today could have been much worse.”
Due to rough surf and strong rip currents, swimming restrictions are currently in place. Beachgoers should check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach and are reminded to keep your feet in the sand until a lifeguard is in the stand. After Labor Day, lifeguards are strategically located along the 10 miles of Ocean City beaches with multiple mobile patrols on duty as well. Lifeguard service continues until Sunday, September 21st.
“We urge our beach patrons to take the time to walk to and swim in front of the lifeguard,” Theobald continued. “Our deepest sympathies are with the two families who lost loved ones today. We will certainly have them in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”