OCEAN CITY — An autopsy is expected to be conducted Monday to determine what killed an Ocean City kayaker.

Gary Pasternak, 59, was pronounced dead at Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point minutes after he was found unconscious in the water off 15th Street.

Police said that about 10:25am Saturday a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol found a kayak floating in the ocean about 300 yards off the coast near 22nd Street. A search by multiple agencies including the Ocean City Beach Patrol, Ocean City Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard and State Police followed, and that’s when he was found.

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Members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol discovered Pasternak floating unconscious in the ocean in the area of 15th Street. The lifeguards immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man, police Capt. Steven Ang said.

He was transported to the beach, where he was treated by the Ocean City Fire Department and then taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Ang said it appeared Pasternak entered the ocean near 21st Street around 9:30 a.m.

The State Police Marine Services Division, Atlantic City Station, was investigating.

Family members did not wish to speak Sunday.

Contact Trudi Gilfillian:


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More than 30 years’ experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines in Illinois, Colorado, Texas and New Jersey and 1985 winner of the Texas Daily Newspaper Association’s John Murphy Award for copy editing.

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