During a 15-minute period this past Friday, lifeguards and EMS crews in both Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City responded to surf-related accidents that could potentially be life threatening or cause permanent paralysis.
Jessica N. Waters, Ocean City communications manager, says the beach patrol was alerted to an unconscious man found in the surf around 11:15 a.m. at Caroline St. “Realizing that what happened was sudden and seeing some head trauma,” Waters states, “our lifeguards treated the person as a neck/head injury. They removed the patient from the surf and used a technique (spinal immobilization) to get him to dry sand. They performed CPR until EMS arrived and he was transported.” He was initially reported to be in cardiac arrest, but regained a pulse as they were treating him on the beach. As of Sunday, no update has been released regarding his condition.
A similar rescue played out just 15 minutes later, on the beach off Rehoboth Avenue, where lifeguards rescued a man from the ocean after he had been tossed in the surf. Although still conscious, he was unable to move as he had lost all feeling and movement in his arms and legs. One report later in the day suggested he had suffered a cervical spine fracture which could potentially be life threatening.