Man Dies In Ocean After Being Caught In Rip Current

Photo by Chris Parypa Photo by Chris Parypa

OCEAN CITY — An 18-year-old Montgomery County man died yesterday after being submerged for at least 20 minutes before lifeguards could locate him off 137th Street.

The identity of the man is not being disclosed by authorities at this time to allow for next of kin to be notified. His name should be released in short order.

Around 4:30 p.m. Monday, Ocean City Communications reported a water rescue in progress. According to the initial report, the man and two other swimmers entered the ocean and immediately became caught in a rip current. The individuals were reportedly not sound swimmers and witnesses on the scene reported they struggled immediately once losing their footing in the ocean, which was rough on Monday with larger than normal waves for Ocean City and strong currents.

An Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) surf rescue technician entered the water and was able to quickly rescue two of the swimmers but could not locate the third.

Fifteen rescue swimmers from the OCBP as well as the Ocean City Fire Department immediately began diving repeatedly to try and find the man. U.S. Coast Guard personnel were called in as was the Maryland State Police Trooper 4. Eventually, after 20 minutes, the man was found and brought ashore.

EMS crews immediately began CPR efforts while the other two swimmers watched nearby in an emotional state. The African-American man was transported by four-wheeler while CPR efforts continued to a waiting ambulance, which after several minutes with the victim inside left the scene for Atlantic General Hospital.

The Montgomery County man was officially pronounced dead soon after arriving at the hospital, according to officials.

In an informational article set to appear in Friday’s paper, OCBP Sgt. Ryan Cowder reports rip currents are the most deadly hazard every summer on the beach. He offered the following advice.

“Beach patrons should always consult with the surf rescue technician about ocean conditions including rip current activity and the best place to swim,” he said. “If you start to feel the effects of a rip current, do not panic, and to escape the pull of the rip current you should always swim parallel to shore and not try to fight the current. Once you no longer feel the pull you should swim back into shore (rip currents do not pull you under). People often make the mistake of swimming straight in against the current, getting tired and then beginning to panic. If you ever find yourself in an uncomfortable situation in the ocean, just wave your arms, and the surf rescue technician will assist you to safety. However, when people ignore our plea to never enter the ocean when the beach patrol is off-duty, they are making a potentially deadly mistake. The beach patrol is on duty daily in the summer from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.”




34 thoughts on “Man Dies In Ocean After Being Caught In Rip Current

  1. This is so sad…and preventable. This young man was from Montgomery County, which is landlocked. Someone needs to be educating the tourists about riptide danger. I doubt that signs placed throughout the beach would do any good…..and people would just complain. Perhaps the condos, hotels and motels should distribute educational flyers about riptide danger. Of course, then the issue would be “Who is going to pay for the flyers to be prepared?” I personally believe it should be the Town of Ocean City. How many people have to die due to lack of education regarding our ocean riptides??

    • Yea he may have been from Montgomery county (so am I) but we visit these beaches like we visit the mall. Sometimes things just happen. Everything in the world is preventable but the ocean is strong and it could happen to anyone. So sad to see this happened but don’t blame it on being from another area only 2 1/2 hrs away, wouldn’t really consider is tourist be have grown up there!

    • there is no such thing as a rip tide…tides are controlled by the ocean…everyone can swim its just a matter of how fast you sink…riptide…ugh you people are dumb…don’t swim if you don’t know what you’re doing…you could die walking off the curb…this is no ones fault but the patron getting in the ocean…The town of ocean city maryland is already one of the strictest beaches in the world…educate yourself…typical americans blaming others instead of themselves…stay the fuck off my beach

    • Landlocked? Lol, Montgomery county is landlocked like every other town outside of Ocean City is landlocked.

      This situation stinks, but a swimmers safety is their own responsibility. People can die a million different ways, it doesn’t mean that we need to create a million different pamphlets. This was unavoidable.

      Ocean City has some of the best lifeguards in the country, some of the strictest rules in the country and a huge force per capita. The City is doing a great job, let us not forget the multitude of patrons who are saved by the force every year. Let us not point the finger and blame the city.

  2. why was it necessary to mention in the article that the man was African-American? A man died. Who cares what race he was? Seemed racist. As if to to say African-American’s cannot swim well.

    • It’s not sexism or ageism because they mentioned he was male or just 18. They are describing a victim, and someone they can’t name until his poor family is notified. It’s a tragedy, and regardless of swim experience, riptides are extremely dangerous. Don’t distract from the true importance of this article.

      My prayers are with his family and friends.

    • Perhaps his race was mentioned so those of us with kids down there may know immediately if our child was involved – a black man tells me it is not my white daughter and it is neither racist nor sexist in my mind.

    • Can we never again mention a person’s race? Would you be so angry if they said “white male 18 y.o., in good physical shape?” Honest to goodness, don’t be so damned SENSITIVE!.

      • Carla Lewis is a very angry woman, and believes that her status in life is due to others rather than for her poor choices. I feel sorry for her kids, because the anger may be passed on to those poor souls.

    • Come on really? What if they mentioned he was white? Or what age he was? Or what sex he was? Why does it have to be racist. Let’s not pull that card here.

  3. What the hell does being from Montgomery County have to do with anything ?? That is just a ridiculous statement ! As if you can’t find water with current in that County . As for him being African American that was a stereotypical statement, what does it matter it was a human being

  4. Please remember this WAS NOT an after hours event. This happened WHILE OCBP guards were in the stands. Why is no one questioning why the guard let it get to the point of rescue? Was this a rookie? I know many experienced guards here in OC and know that if it was someone that had been on the job and knew the ocean environment this would have been avoided. “Keep your feet in the sand until were in the stand” That’s not all so promising now. Maybe we should focuse on the department our tax money goes to for beach safety… Not bashing BP but this is pretty unacceptable while they were on duty and knowing how bad conditions were thruout the day.

    • Salty- Did you read the article? Three weak swimmers needed rescued simutaniously. Are you saying OC should put two lifeguards in every stand? Or should only the super human apply for the job?

  5. I lived in FL for a couple of yrs and they do teach the kids in school about the dangers of the Ocean and what to do or at least they did life guards also did a great job at letting people know about the rip current and undertow

  6. It is sad that someone so young lost his life no matter what race he is! It is not racist that they put he was African American. What if your child was at senior week and you couldn’t reach him/her. (They didn’t release the name yet) You would be in a panic! If you were Caucasian and read that it was an African American, then that would ease your worries and same if it were a Caucasian male and you were African American! Why is it that everytime someone states that something happened to an African American some idiot calls racism??? If it happened to a Caucasian male, that comment wouldn’t be on there! A young man lost his life! Who cares what race he is! It didn’t state he couldn’t swim! Stop reading into stories to stir up controversy!!!

  7. To Carla,
    It’s people like you that create the problems and issues with racism and don’t just let it rest. It’s people like you that look for the words for racism. It makes me sick to read your type of posting. It’s comments like yours that starts the trouble making, and that’s just what it is. No matter if they are German, Hispanic, Greek, Islamic, White, Korean or Black, etc., that’s what they are and there is nothing racist about mentioning that in an article or conversation. So let go of the past and get over it.

  8. Since they are not releasing the name, at least mentioning his race allays the fears of a lot of worried people.

  9. Under tows are very hazardous and tiring, I have seen inner city people time and time again jump into a very deep quarry which is a swim club, only to be saved by the life guards. If your parents did not provide you with swimming lessons it is never to late to take a class. Swim classes are offered in numerous locations. Take responsibility for your life.

  10. Please don’t judge him, there was absolutely NO alcohol involved in his death! He is a 18 year old African American, who was brought up in decent humble surroundings. His mother, who happens to be a nurse, was at work for several hours after her baby drowned. He is just a recent graduate, who God saw fit to call home! My heart is with my coworker at this time!

  11. All but a couple of these posts are pathetic!
    A teen ager drowned. That’s the fact, he is gone and some fools are trying to place blame on someone for an accident. Have some sympathy for the family who lost their son, an unimaginably painful feeling.

  12. Oh my goodness! Someone’s child, someone’s family member, someone’s friend has just died! The ocean was rough on Sunday and Monday! These kids were in distress almost immediately upon entering the water. The lifeguards dove for 20 minutes looking for this young man. They had been kicking a soccer ball around, not partying. PLEASE take a minute and pray for that family who just lost their son.

  13. It’s very tragic to hear of this young man losing his life. My heart and prayers go out to his family. Great job to the life guards for saving the two other people involved. It’s always dangerous swimming in the Ocean. Life guards put their life in jeopardy all of the time saving people who don’t know the ocean conditions and don’t ask if the ocean is safe. Half the time if people are warned of dangerous conditions they still choose to swim anyway risking their life and the life guards. Any smart individual knows the Ocean is very unpredictable and can be deadly. This seems to be just a very unfortunate act of God, an accident. It doesn’t matter what race he is, we all bleed red!!!!!!!

  14. Al Sharpton on 06/04/2014 at 9:49 am said: Carla Lewis is a very angry woman, and believes that her status in life is due to others rather than for her poor choices. I feel sorry for her kids, because the anger may be passed on to those poor souls.////// I don’t have any kids. I am white, and 52 yrs of age, and married for 16 years. Now you know my status in life. I have never ever read an article that described the victims color of their skin. I found it very insulting, God bless you, and this mans family. How much hatred you carry around must be horrible for you, I feel sorry for you, and will be praying for your soul, because if ever an individual needed prayer, sir it is you. <3

    • You justified your race! Why does your race matter? I’ve read many articles that describe the race of the victim you must not read much Carla because you’re oblivious to the real world we have made it through segregation but it’s people like you who cause it to be an issue for pointing out they identified the poor boys race. Why does it matter? If I was a parent I would have felt a sigh of relief or worry when I read that, that’s the thing you don’t have children you wouldn’t understand. You’re too worried about making yourself look good.

      • Ok she might not have any kids but it’s not right to tell her she doesn’t know the feeling because she could have had a sibling that had died and didn’t want to take the risk in loosing her child cause she has already felt the pain and she might be going through a hard time and was angry at the time when she wrote that so lay off

  15. We have a place on 41st street and the life guards are great. They gather everyone around at least once a day and several times on the weekends . They give everyone a speech about the safety rules of the beach and explain in detail the dangers and what to do in the case of a rip tide.

  16. Problems like this could be avoided by learning how rip currents work. You don’t fight it, just let it take you out then swim about 100 feet down and try going back in. When you freak out and fight it you waste all your energy therefore drowning. If your not a strong swimmer and familiar with the ocean than stay close to shore, even than a rip tide could pull your legs from underneath of you and pull you out. I applaud the lifeguard that was at least able to save two out of the three.

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