Officer Enters Ocean To Rescue Swimmer Refusing To Exit Water

On Friday, July 20, 2012, at approximately 12:09 a.m., Ocean City Police officers were performing evening ATV patrol on the beach.   ATV officers responded to the area of 140th Street for a report of fireworks.  Upon arrival, officers did not witness any fireworks, however, they did locate a woman near the shoreline who was acting disoriented and confused.  Officers attempted to speak to the 30-year-old woman, who continued to disregard the officers. The woman then ran into the water as officers approached her and refused to exit the ocean despite officers’ requests.

Officers continued their attempts to have the woman exit the surf, however, she ignored the officers’ request and continued deeper into the water.  Fearing for the safety of the woman, who was fully clothed and now neck deep in the water, one of the ATV patrol officers removed his duty gear and entered the water. The officer was able to get to the woman and remove her from the water.  Once on shore, she continued to try to run back into the water. 

As a precautionary measure due to the woman’s behavior, officers requested the assistance of the Worcester County Health Department`s Crisis Response Team (CRT).  The CRT responder believed the woman may have been suffering from an unknown mental disorder and in danger of causing harm to herself or others.  A petition for emergency evaluation was subsequently completed on scene.

The woman whose name is not being released, was taken by Ocean City EMS to Peninsula Regional Medical Center for psychological evaluation. Ocean City Police commend the officers involved, particularly the officer who entered the water, preventing a potentially serious situation.  In addition, Ocean City Police remind citizens that Ocean City beaches are closed from midnight to 5 a.m. To ensure citizens safety, OCPD officers patrol the beaches on horses and ATV’s. Citizens should always use caution when involved in any type of water activity; never swim in the ocean when the Ocean City Beach Patrol is off-duty.