Body of 17-Year-Old Swimmer Recovered In Ocean City

OCEAN CITY, MD-  A tragic ending to rescue efforts on Thurdsay, first responders recovered the body of the missing 17-year-old swimmer who was swept offshore Wednesday afternoon by a rip current.

The teenager’s body was recovered by the coast guard and Maryland State Police, and Beach Patrol less than 24 hours after he disappeared.

The body was recovered in the beach area near 13th street, nearly 100 streets further down the beach from where he first disappeared, due to a riptide that swept the teen away from shore despite extensive rescue efforts.

The body was found in water near 13th street as part of extensive surveillance and monitoring effort from Maryland State Police, DNR, Coast Guard, and Ocean City Beach Patrol.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin told 47ABC that MSP was not able to fly their air equipment Wednesday due to weather conditions, but was able to be out with specialized tools Thursday.

“Their forward-looking Infrared which can detect a warmer spot in the water so if a person goes underwater their body temperature is warmer than the surround water they can spot him,” Arbin said.

The initial search and rescue effort started at 112th street Wednesday after 3 pm when a call came in that 4 people were struggling in the water.

While it was only waist high, a rip current pulled the teenage boy out from shore.

Witnesses in the water told 47ABC in no time beach patrol took action.

“We came out of the water we saw our lifeguard was out of the stand and rushed down here and there was a butch of other people here and soon after like 50 lifeguards were searching for the kid,” said witnesses Philip Lundbad and Caleb Brown, adding “We were right there it could have been us any of us we were fortunate we fought against it.”

Captain Arbin told 47ABC at that point the mission was a search and rescue and mobilized swimmers in the water diving to find the swimmer.

“We brought 50 additional personnel into the area and did both a shallow water and deep water search and we did that for well over an hour,” he said.

Even with the added help Captain Arbin says rip currents can be especially difficult for rescue, and ultimately recovery.

“When a person is being pulled out by a rip-current not only does it pull the person out, the water out it pulls the sand away it’s a deeper spot there,” he said.

Ryan Whittington of the Ocean City Fire Department the body told 47ABC the body of the swimmer will be sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for further review.

The name of the swimmer is being withheld at this time.

Cpt. Arbin told 47ABC it’s unusual for a healthy  17-year-old who was standing in waist-high water to be swept away by a rip current.

That’s why he recommends that anyone who is planning on swimming in Ocean City, should check with a lifeguard about the current condition in the water, especially if they are not strong swimmers.

He says it’s a small but important step to avoid tragedies going forward.


Categories: Local News, Maryland