OCEAN CITY, MARYLAND – (September 29, 2015): Treacherous surf conditions resulted in an afternoon scare in Ocean City yesterday, September 28. Despite public advisories to stay out of the surf until spring, first responders made multiple rescues for swimmers in distress.
Emergency personnel from Ocean City fire, beach patrol and police departments responded to 33rd Street and the beach at approximately 4:15 p.m. for a reported water rescue in progress. According to witnesses who contacted Ocean City Communications, two children were swimming and became caught in a rip current. Moments later, four adult males rushed to the aid of the children, but found themselves also in distress.
Within minutes of the call, numerous first responders arrived and brought all six swimmers back to shore. Five victims, including the children, were transported to Atlantic General Hospital by Ocean City EMS and were later released. One adult male victim was transported, via Maryland State Police helicopter, to Baltimore Shock Trauma in stable condition.
“This was a frightening incident and an alarming example of why you should not swim without a lifeguard on duty,” commented Ocean City Emergency Services Director, Joseph Theobald. “The ocean is unpredictable and the current conditions are dangerous for even the strongest swimmers.”
The Ocean City Beach Patrol is off duty until May 2016. Residents and visitors are reminded to never go in the ocean without the supervision of a lifeguard and knowledge of the current conditions. “We are urging people to not take the risk and stay out of the water in all circumstances,” Theobald continued. “In other words, the beach patrol is off duty so do not swim. Period.”