Strong rip currents believed to be caused by Hurricane Edouard have killed two men in Ocean City, Maryland.
The first victim was a 52-year-old from Huntington, Pennsylvania. He was among five people that rescuers pulled from the water over a 15-minute period around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. The man was pronounced dead an hour later after extensive efforts to revive him.
The second victim, a 49-year-old resident of Rosedale in Baltimore County, was pulled from Ocean City waters just before 6 p.m. Wednesday. He died later at a hospital.
Ocean City Beach Patrol said that both men drowned because of strong rip currents. Their names were not immediately released.
Swimming restrictions in Ocean City were implemented after the drownings and were in place Thursday. Lifeguard service ends for the season on Sunday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Sammler told The (Salisbury) Daily Times that dangerous rip currents Wednesday were the result of Hurricane Edouard, which passed several hundred miles east of the Delmarva peninsula Tuesday.
Joe Theobald, director of the town's Emergency Services Department told WBOC-TV that Wednesday was "a sad day for the entire Ocean City community," and that that if it weren't for the fast response by emergency personnel, the death toll "could have been much worse."
Witnesses said rescuers worked feverishly to save both men.
"A lot of people standing here were praying," Bonnie Ritter of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, said. "I have nothing but high praise for those lifeguards. They could not have done anything better."