ASSATEAGUE — The victim of last week’s drowning in the ocean off Assateague Island on the Fourth of July has been identified as a 36-year-old Connecticut man.
Around 6:40 p.m. last Wednesday, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) received a 911 call reporting a body floating face down in the water off North Ocean Beach at Assateague Island National Seashore. A multi-agency search including the National Park Service, Maryland NRP, Berlin EMS and Assateague State Park lifeguards patrolling on ATVs found the body at 7:34 p.m. approximately 300 yards southeast of North Ocean Beach.
An NRP police boat located the body, retrieved it from the water and brought it to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) boathouse on the commercial harbor in West Ocean City for transportation to the Maryland Medical Examiners Office. The victim has been identified as Dongjin Hong, 36, of Hartford, Connecticut. The initial autopsy results indicate the cause of death as drowning.
Residents and visitors to Assateague and other beach areas are urged to swim in the ocean only when lifeguards are on duty. The North Ocean Beach at Assateague is lifeguard-protected seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Assateague State Park is monitored by lifeguards every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a lifeguard patrolling on an ATV until 7 p.m. In addition, lifeguards and red flags also warn swimmers of persistent seaward or rip currents along the beaches at Assateague.