Weekend Rescue Serves As Reminder To Swim Only When Guards On Duty

OCEAN CITY — An early morning rescue last Saturday in north Ocean City led to safety personnel reminding visitors and residents to refrain from swimming when the Ocean City Beach Patrol is not on duty.

Last Saturday morning around 6, the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) and Ocean City Police Department were dispatched to the area of 141st Street for a reported drowning.

OCFD paramedics and rescue swimmers reportedly discovered CPR being performed on a female on the beach. Rescue personnel immediately began advanced life support measures on the victim, who was soon after transported to Atlantic General Hospital where she reportedly remained in critical condition as of Sunday. Further updates from emergency officials are unable to be ascertained due to confidentiality rules.

Interviews with friends of the victim indicated a group went to the beach early Saturday to watch the sunrise when the 28-year-old female went swimming and began to struggle. Her friends were not swimmers but were able to get her to shore and began life saving efforts, according to OCFD Public Information Officer Ryan Whittington.

Whittington said the department receives a couple calls a month about distressed swimmers who are in the ocean either before the lifeguards are on duty or after.

“It may not be a drowning, but we tend to get often is a dispatch of a swimmer in distress. A swimmer in distress call is when someone on the fifth floor of their condo looks out in the early morning hours and thinks that person is really far out or that person is waiving or screaming and the fire department is then dispatched,” he said. “We then arrive and can determine through hand signals if they are okay.”

The Ocean City Beach Patrol members begin coverage at 10 a.m. daily through 5:30 p.m. The patrol’s advice to beachgoers continues to be, “Keep your feet in the sand, until the lifeguard’s in the stand.”

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.