Swimmer caught in current, drowns off Ocean City beach Unrelated surfing mishap critically injures man

September 14, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A Pennsylvania man died yesterday morning when he was caught in a rip current in Ocean City, and another man was in critical condition after a surfing accident a short distance away, resort police reported.

The death of Kenneth Angle, 55, of Mercersburg was the first drowning in Ocean City this year, according to police.

He was swimming alone -- about 15 minutes before lifeguards were to go on duty -- when the strong current pulled him away from the beach near 27th Street, police said.

A vacationer on a boardwalk condominium balcony heard Angle calling for help about 9: 45 a.m. and called 911, said Officer Jay Hancock, a town police spokesman.

While a Coast Guard patrol boat crew could not find the man, Beach Patrol lifeguards went into the surf and found Angle floating face down, police said.

Angle was declared dead on arrival at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Hancock said.

Less than an hour later, James L. Byler, 50, of Beltsville suffered head, neck and back injuries when he lost control of a rented "boogie board" while riding a wave and slammed into a sandbar near 25th Street, police said.

"He was not breathing and had no pulse when brought ashore by Ocean City Beach Patrol guards, who began CPR," police said. Byler was in critical condition at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury.

Beach Patrol Lt. Skip Lee said lifeguards will be on duty through Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5: 30 p.m. on weekends and 10: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

"We strongly encourage people to swim near the lifeguards and ask as many questions as necessary before putting themselves into a compromising situation," Lee said.

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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