On Friday, July 20, 2012, at approximately 6 p.m., Ocean City Communications received a call for swimmers in distress in the area of 90th Street and the beach. As officers arrived on scene, a water rescue was in progress with three females being pulled from the water by beachgoers and one off-duty beach patrol employee.
Witnesses told police that the beach patrol had instructed the females to leave the water approximately 10 minutes before the incident occurred. The females, who entered the water despite beach patrol’s warning, became visibly distressed. At this time, two beachgoers, who were identified as Christopher Bourdeau, 39, of Vienna, VA and Robert Miller, 43, of Falls Church, VA, entered the water to help the swimmers.
Miller and Bourdeau, who were at the beach with their families, rescued one swimmer and got her safely to the shore break. Miller and Bourdeau went back to assist the second swimmer. As Miller and Bourdeau rescued the second swimmer, an off-duty beach patrol lieutenant arrived and rescued the third swimmer.
The three swimmers, who were identified as a 21-year-old female from Bowie, MD, a 19-year-old female from Woodstock, MD and a 20-year-old female from Silver Spring, MD, were transported by Ocean City Emergency Services to Atlantic General Hospital. Two of the swimmers were treated and released, however, the third swimmer, who went into full cardiac arrest at the time of the incident, was still listed in critical condition.
Ocean City Police commend the citizens involved in the rescue of these women. Miller, Bourdeau and the off-duty beach patrol employee are responsible for preventing a serious tragedy from taking place. The OCPD is reminding residents and visitors to use caution in the water and encourages residents and visitors to leave their feet in the sand, if a lifeguard is not in the stand.