Wednesday, June 20 – Ocean City Visitor Missing In Apparent Drowning

OCEAN CITY – A rip current off Ocean City is likely responsible for the apparent drowning death of a 19-year-old visitor last Sunday.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, lifeguards on 31st Street noticed three distressed swimmers in the ocean. A lifeguard was able to save two of the swimmers, but Lijpaul Headly of Lanham, Md. immediately went missing.

Members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol as well as U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland State Police helicopters immediately initiated a widespread search, but the operation was called off by Monday morning after hours of finding no success.

Headly, a student at Morgan State University, was on vacation with his family in Ocean City at the time of the incident. He and the other two family members, his brother and cousin, were reportedly unable to swim.

Morgan State University spokesman Clinton Coleman told The Sun yesterday Headly was a rising sophomore at the school and was majoring in political science.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol encourages all those unable to swim to always check with lifeguards about the day’s ocean conditions prior to entering the water and to never wade beyond knee-deep water. For more tips on ocean swimming, check out the beach patrol’s website at

For more details and coverage of Ocean City’s first drowning since September of 2006, see The Dispatch on Friday and stay tuned to the newspaper’s website, which will be updated Friday morning.