OCEAN CITY — One young woman remains in critical condition today and two others have been treated and released after an incident last Friday during which they went into the ocean after being advised not to by the Ocean City Beach Patrol and were rescued by a pair of private citizens and an off-duty ranking lifeguard.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">
Around 6 p.m. last Friday, Ocean City Communications received a call regarding swimmers in distress in the ocean around 90th Street. As Ocean City Police officers arrived on the scene, a water rescue was in progress involving three female victims being pulled from the water by beachgoers and one off-duty Ocean City Beach Patrol lieutenant.
Witnesses told police the Beach Patrol had instructed the three female swimmers, a 21-year-old from Bowie, a 19-year-old from Woodstock, Md., and a 20-year-old from Silver Spring, Md., to leave the water around 10 minutes before the incident occurred. The female victims, who entered the ocean despite the patrol’s warning, became visibly distressed on a day during which lifeguards had already reportedly made 191 rescues.
Two private citizens being called heroes this week have been identified as Christopher Bourdeau, 39, of Vienna, Va., and Robert Miller, 43, of Falls Church, Va. The men entered the water to help the distressed swimmers. Bourdeau and Miller rescued one of the swimmers and got her safely back to shore and went back in the ocean to assist the second swimmer. As Miller and Bourdeau were assisting the second swimmer, an off-duty beach patrol lieutenant arrived on the scene and rescued the third victim, reportedly at least 40 yards offshore.
The third victim went into full cardiac arrest at the time of the incident and was still listed in critical condition as of Tuesday morning. The other two victims were also transported to Atlantic General Hospital following their rescues and were treated and released.
Ocean City Police this week are commending the citizens involved in the rescue of the three women as well as the off-duty beach patrol lieutenant. According to the OCPD, the quick action of Miller, Bourdeau and the OCBP lieutenant are responsible for preventing a serious tragedy.
As always, the OCPD and the OCBP are reminding residents and visitors to follow warnings and to keep their feet in the sand if a lifeguard is not in the stand.