Swimmer, pulled from surf Monday, dies - pressofAtlanticCity.com: News

Swimmer, pulled from surf Monday, dies - pressofAtlanticCity.com: News

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Swimmer, pulled from surf Monday, dies

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Posted: Friday, August 28, 2009 10:25 am

OCEAN CITY - A swimmer who was pulled from the ocean off Ninth Street on Monday has died, police said.

Manuel Velazquez, 51, of Collingswood, died at Shore Memorial Hospital after another swimmer pulled him unconscious from the water.

Police said Velazquez was swimming on an unguarded beach at Ninth Street at about 5:15 p.m., shortly after lifeguards left their stands for the day.

Ocean City police officers Robert Reichanek, Matthew Schaffer performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on him. Police said Velazquez died about 24 hours later.

Velazquez is the second swimmer to drown on an unguarded beach this summer. Josias Sterling, 19, a student at Temple University, drowned while swimming in the Great Egg Harbor Inlet near the Ocean City-Longport Bridge on July 24.

Velazquez became distressed while swimming near a jetty on Ninth Street. This is one of Ocean City's most popular beaches because of nearby parking, the proximity to Route 52, the main entrance to town, and the nearby attractions such as the Boardwalk and Music Pier.

Beachgoers heard his cries for help and summoned the assistance of off-duty Philadelphia police officer Paul Haye, who scrambled over the jetty and dove into the water to save him.

Haye said Velazquez was unconscious when he reached him. City police and firefighters attended to him before taking him to the hospital.

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