By ALLEY COWGILL
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
Houston resident Joseph H. Gardner, 53, died while swimming in the rough current of South Padre Island. South Padre Island Beach Patrol rescued Gardner and began performing CPR while he was transported to a helipad for airlifting to a hospital.
South Padre Island City Manager Bill DiLibero said the surf was a contributing factor to the drowning. “It is my understanding that the water roughness was an issue. We responded in less than a minute. It was a challenge to get back to shore because of the water conditions. CPR was administered as soon as they got to shore.”
After several failed attempts to revive Gardner, the medical air-unit team determined they were be unable to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead before reaching the hospital. This is the first drowning death the Island has seen in 2015.
“The City is saddened by this incident. We do the best we can to staff the beach in a way which is financially feasible,” DiLibero said. He offered advice to swimmers, saying, “Swimmers should watch out for rip currents because they will pull you out. Don’t go out above your head unless you’re a really strong swimmer.”
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