A missing 17-year-old beachgoer prompted a large search response. Photo courtesy of Turnbull Brockmeyer Law Group/Facebook/

17-Year-Old from Annapolis Dies in Ocean City Rip Current

A teenage boy swimming in the ocean at the Ocean City beach was reported missing Wednesday afternoon, prompting a large-scale search by several emergency agencies. Tragically, his body was recovered several miles south the next day.

Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) says just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, lifeguards near the 112th street beach noticed a group who appeared to be struggling to swim.

The Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) responded to several swimmers in distress on Wednesday, August 4, in the area of 112th Street. At approximately 3:50 p.m., on-duty lifeguards noticed a group who appeared to be struggling to swim.

As three of the distressed swimmers left the water, OCBP says beach patrol tried to rescue one swimmer being swept away in a rip current. A 911 call came into Ocean City around the same time, reporting the 17-year-old swimmer swept away from shore.

Ocean City Beach Patrol deployed a team of 50 Surf Rescue Technicians to conduct an in-the-water search. In addition, Ocean City Fire Department rescue swimmers, Maryland Natural Resources Police, and a boat crew and helicopter crew from the Coast Guard searched for the swimmer into Wednesday evening. Just before 1 p.m. Thursday, OCBP found his body in the surf in the area of the 13th Street beach.

The teen is from Annapolis, but their name has still not been released. His body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office in Baltimore to determine the cause of death.

Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin tells Bay Bulletin that rip currents can happen anytime. According to NOAA, of the 76 surf zone fatalities that have happened already in 2021, 57 of them were caused by rip currents.

Albin says people should always be aware of their own swimming ability and check in with their nearby life guard about the day’s conditions. And never enter the ocean when Beach Patrol is off duty.

His simple reminder: “If caught in a rip current, R.I.P = Relax and do not panic, signal that I need help, swim Parallel to the beach (the rip current is not that wide and will allow you to then swim in).”

For more rip current safety resources, click here.

-Meg Walburn Viviano