OC Beach Patrol Issues Warning After Third Rip Current Death - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OC Beach Patrol Issues Warning After Third Rip Current Death

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OCEAN CITY, Md. - For the third time this year someone has drowned after being pulled under by rip currents off of Ocean City's beaches.

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old male was overtaken by a wave near the inlet in Ocean City. Officials say the incident occurred just after 6 p.m.

According the Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin, no lifeguards were on duty at the time of the incident.

"Beach patrol is on duty everyday from 10 [a.m.] to 5:30 p.m.," Arbin said. "For safety reasons no one should be in the water before or after that time."

Officials said crews arrived to the scene 13 minutes after the distress call. The young man was taken to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin where he was pronounced dead.

"Rip currents are deadly and swimmers need to swim in front of a guard," Arbin said.

He explained summer is winding down and there are less lifeguards on the beach, which means stands are further apart on the 10 mile strip.

"Many of our guards are teachers and college students who are returning to school," Arbin said. "We are down to about 50 percent of our staff and we are currently implementing motor patrol to cover gaps between lifeguard stands."

The Ocean City Beach Patrol will be on duty everyday until Sept. 21. After Labor Day, the Beach Patrol implements fall coverage. Fall coverage extends until the Sunday of Sunfest weekend. Fall coverage is a change in standard operating procedures as well as placement of guard stands along the beach.

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