One man drowns, two other swimmers rescued in separate incidents in Palm Beach County

A West Palm Beach man who was plucked out of the ocean this morning has died, officials said.

Then, Sunday afternoon, emergency crews were called to MacArthur Beach State Park to treat two swimmers who may have drowned after possibly being caught in rip currents that raged throughout Palm Beach County.

Joseph Baker, 53, who was swimming north of Lake Worth Beach with two friends, was declared dead at JFK Medical Center about noon, said Palm Beach Sgt. Mick Keehan. It is not clear whether Baker drowned or suffered a medical problem while swimming in an unguarded stretch of beach in front of the Omphoy Ocean Resort, he said.

At 3 p.m., two people were involved in a possible drowning at the oceanfront state park in North Park Beach, according to a dispatcher for Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue. Additional information wasn't immediately available.

Cori Graham, a lifeguard at Richard Kreusler Park just north of Lake Worth Beach, said she was summoned by swimmers who reported a man was having a hard time making it to shore about 11:30 a.m. When she ran from her tower to the area in front of the Omphoy, Baker's friends had pulled him out of the water. But, she said, he was non-responsive.

A trained emergency technician, she administered CPR while waiting for rescue crews to arrive. Baker didn't regain consciousness, she said. His friends said he had a weak heart.

High winds have created dangerous rip tides up and down the coast. Yellow caution flags were flying at most oceanfront parks. Today's 10-15 mph winds, with gusts up to 20 mph, are creating the rip currents, said a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. Winds, and therefore the threat of rip currents, will subside Monday.


Comments