Shortly after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, Ocean City Communications received a call for a swimmer in distress in the Inlet. First responders were immediately dispatched to the area, including Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) rescue swimmers. In addition, several off-duty beach patrol employees were the first to the scene, arriving only minutes after the call.
According to witnesses, an 18-year-old male victim appeared to be stuck in a rip current and was having difficulty getting back to shore. Witnesses stated that at one point the victim was overtaken by a wave, submerged and did not resurface.
Ocean City Beach Patrol Surf Rescue Technicians (SRT) and OCFD rescue swimmers began a search of the area and located the victim approximately 13 minutes after the initial call. The victim was treated on scene by EMS personnel and then transported to Atlantic General Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
As we enter into a very busy weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to keep your feet in the sand until a lifeguard is in the stand. Due to the tropical storm activity, which is normal for this time of year, causing larger surf and increased rip current activity, swimming restrictions are likely to be put in effect. In addition, beach patrons should swim in front of a lifeguard and always check with a lifeguard to learn about the current ocean conditions.
Update from Communications Manager, Jessica Waters: (Wednesday, August 27, 2014): Despite an extraordinary effort by our public safety personnel, including our Beach Patrol and Fire Department rescue swimmers, the life saving measures after yesterday’s water rescue were unsuccessful. The victim, 18-year-old Jose Maudiel Hernandez, from Manassass, VA, was pronounce deceased at Atlantic General Hospital last evening.
Our most heartfelt sympathies go out to the family, friends and loved ones of the victim. On behalf of the entire Town of Ocean City, our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.
As we enter into a busy Labor Day weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol reminds beachgoers to check in with the lifeguard on duty every time you come to the beach. An increase in strong rip currents can be seen on our coast because of tropical storm activity off-shore. Beach patrons are reminded that there are swimming restrictions in effect until further notice. Swimmers are asked to remain knee deep in the water or less. Citizens are also strongly encouraged to only swim when lifeguards are on duty.