Toxicology tests have ruled out drugs and alcohol a contributing factors in the accidental drowning of a 22-year-old Baltimore County man who was trying out for a lifeguard job in Ocean City last month.
"We are still doing some additional testing, but what I can tell you is that there was no evidence of alcohol or drug use," said Dr. Frank J. Peretti, an assistant state medical examiner.
Other tests will seek to determine if an underlying medical condition contributed to Allen Christopher Mrozinski's death, Peretti said.
Mrozinski, an excellent swimmer and Carney area resident, drowned in a swimming pool surrounded by lifeguards while performing a simulated rescue. During the exercise, an experienced lifeguard with the Ocean City Beach Patrol pretended to be the drowning victim whom Mrozinski was supposed to rescue.
Mrozinski submerged and suddenly became motionless, eyewitnesses said. Beach Patrol members immediately dived in
after him, said eyewitness Heather Bacheller, 21, a lifeguard who works for the Irene condominium, where the drowning occurred.
"They were in the water in seconds," she said, snapping her fingers to emphasize how fast lifeguards responded. "It was probably the fastest rescue I've seen."
Earlier that day, Mrozinski had completed rigorous portions of the lifeguard test involving running in sand, swimming in the ocean and running with buoys into the surf. He and other applicants had taken a lunch break before they began the final part of the test, a pool exercise designed to highlight lifesaving skills.
The Beach Patrol uses the physically demanding test to weed out applicants who do not have the stamina or ability to be "surf rescue technicians," as lifeguards are officially called, according Tom Perlozzo, director of Ocean City's Department of Recreation and Parks.
Ocean City police are awaiting the medical examiner's autopsy report before concluding their investigation, said Officer Jay Hancock, a police spokesman.