Two, including man from Rosedale, die in Ocean City rip currents

Rosedale man was one of several swimmers caught in strong waters Wednesday

September 18, 2014|By Colin Campbell and Carrie Wells | The Baltimore Sun

Two men, including one from Rosedale, died while swimming at Ocean City Wednesday, officials said.

The 49-year-old man from Rosedale, who has not yet been publicly identified, was spotted floating unconscious far out into the water by a beach patrol supervisor at around 5:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after lifeguards had gone off duty for the day, Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin said. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

"Our biggest message is don't swim when we're off duty and this is what this person did," Arbin said.

Five other people needed to be rescued earlier in the day, including a 52-year-old Pennsylvania man who was caught in a rip current, town officials said. Arbin said they believe that Huntingdon man, who has also not yet been identified, may have suffered a medical condition while in the water.

The Huntingdon man was one of five people caught in strong currents only minutes and a few streets apart, town officials said.

He and two others swimming near 17th Street called for help at about 12:34 p.m., prompting beach patrol to respond. The man and a 19-year-old with non-fatal injuries were taken to Atlantic General Hospital by emergency medics, where the man died about an hour later, town officials said. The third swimmer was rescued without injury.

Two other people were rescued from another rip current shortly afterward in the area of 20th Street; they did not need medical attention.

Ocean City is enforcing swimming restrictions "due to rough surf and strong rip currents," and the town is asking swimmers to regularly check in with lifeguards and to swim near lifeguard stands along the beach while conditions persist. Lifeguards will be stationed on the beach until Sunday.

Including the two deaths on Wednesday, this year three swimmers at Ocean City have died during the day, while two others have died while lifeguards were off duty, Arbin said.

After lifeguards go off-duty for the year on Monday, there will be no safe time to swim, Arbin said.

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