NWS cautions shorebreak safety after large wave kills man in Ocean City

Rough surf at Cape Henlopen, Delaware on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, not far from Ocean City, Maryland. [Kari Pugh photo]

A 76-year-old man died Sunday after being knocked down by a large wave in Ocean City, Maryland, prompting a warning from local National Weather Service forecasters.

“This was not a rip current death, but rather appears to have been the result of breaking shore waves,” the National Weather Service Wakefield, Virginia office said in an email.

The New York man was standing in knee-deep surf near 21st Street when the wave knocked him down, Delmarvanow.com reported.

Lifeguards found the man several blocks away in the area of 16th Street and attempted life-saving measures, but the man died.

Surf was rough and waves high over the weekend along the Mid Atlantic coast. While rip currents are among the most talked about beach hazards, shorebreak — when waves break directly on the beach — is equally dangerous.

“Both small and high waves can be equally as unpredictable and dangerous and typically form when there is a rapid transition from deep to shallow water,” NOAA says.

NOAA offers an educational video on East Coast waves worth watching here.

“Please help us educate beach visitors to these dangers when the surf is up,” the weather service at Wakefield wrote. “It only takes a 3- to 4- foot shore break to be dangerous and even less for small children.”

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.

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