A young man died after being under water for as long as 18 minutes at the Ocean City Inlet on Tuesday afternoon, according to Ocean City Beach Patrol.
Ocean City officials identified the victim as 18-year-old Jose Maudiel Hernandez, from Manassas, Va.
The incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday. A 911 call came in for a swimmer in distress at the Inlet. Lifeguards had cleared the water and already were off the beach.
Beach Patrol Capt. Butch Arbin said witnesses reported seeing the 18-year-old male with his family. He went into the water on his own, and was struggling to swim when a wave overcame him and he went under.
Rescue swimmers arrived to help, and after 18 minutes had gone by with the swimmer missing, rescue personnel found the unidentified victim. They passed him off to paramedics at the scene, who administered advance lifesaving techniques, according to Arbin.
Arbin said at this time of year, his lifeguards roster is down by 40 percent because many lifeguards have returned to their school year. It means lifeguards are now more spread out along the beach. Today's ocean conditions were so rough that swimmers were asked to exit the water at about 2:30 p.m., Arbin added.