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Ocean City drowning first in 3 years

September 15, 1997

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

OCEAN CITY, Md. - The drowning of a Mercersburg man Saturday morning was the first such incident in Ocean City since the summer of 1994, according to Beach Patrol Lt. Skip Lee.

Kenneth R. Angle, 55, who was on vacation with his wife of 32 years, Carol, was swimming alone Saturday morning near the shore when he was pulled out into the ocean. A rip current pulled him several hundred yards from shore, according to Ocean City police.

A vacationer heard Angle crying for help and called 911 at 9:46 a.m., about 15 minutes before lifeguards were scheduled to go on duty.

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An Ocean City Beach Patrol rescuer who had reported to work early and happened to see Angle in the ocean couldn't reach him in time, Lee said. Angle died at 10:31 a.m.

Rip currents are the most common water hazards leading to swimmer distress and potential rescue, Lee said.

A rip is a body of water moving out to sea, Lee said. After the water is dumped on shore, it returns to the ocean through a channel it creates on the ocean floor, he explained.

As the water rushes through the area, it collects until it finds a path back out to sea. Once it does, the water surges through the channel like a river, which tends to pull swimmers away from the shore, Lee said.

Angle got caught in a channel and struggled against the current, which often tires swimmers because it keeps taking them out to sea, he said.

Though it seems unnatural, swimmers caught in a rip current should swim parallel to the shore, Lee added.

Angle was a truck driver for 20 years for DM Bowman Inc. of Williamsport, Md. For the past five years he drove for Food Lion of Greencastle, Pa.

Angle was a member of Welsh Run Church of the Brethren, where he taught Sunday school and served as a trustee and treasurer.

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