Three deaths in a month in Ocean City qualifies as an inauspicious start to the season on the public safety front.
The importance of personal safety can never be understated and each of the deaths thus far this season have been preventable. That’s typically the case when a life is lost in Ocean City. While all the details are not clear at this point, each death over the last month appears to be accidental in nature.
The first death occurred on May 13 when a Towson University student is suspected of falling from a balcony. Over Memorial Day weekend, a motorcyclist was killed when he struck a truck while swerving in and out of traffic on Coastal Highway. This week’s death involved a 23-year-old man, reported missing Sunday, being found in a canal with no signs of foul play evident.
The good news is the number of deaths could easily be four if it weren’t for the commendable instincts of a young man last weekend.
Milford, N.J. resident Kyle Mooney, 18, had just wrapped up fishing on the jetty rocks at the Inlet and was walking north along the beach when he noticed something unusual in the ocean. It turned out, by all accounts, to be a man trying to drown himself.
“At that point, I took everything out of my pockets and jumped in after him,” Mooney said. “As soon as I got to him, a big wave hit us both and it pushed him to me, so I grabbed him from under his arms and started swimming back. … When I was sitting with him on the beach while the police arrived, he kept saying ‘I belong out there, I belong out there …’ and he kept hitting the sand.”
Mooney’s courageous and spontaneous actions saved a life. It’s our hope the man is able to get some treatment for his mental health and turn his life around. That would be a happy ending. Mooney is to be credited for giving him the opportunity to overcome his troubles.
While we must report on the inevitable sad events that come with hundreds of thousands of people coming to the area, it’s the Mooney story that personifies the best of what human kind has to offer. Those stories deserve the same attention when possible.