An 80-year-old Palm Coast resident was pulled from the water in Flagler Beach this morning, not breathing and without a pulse, authorities say.
“They delivered the patient to the hospital still unresponsive and pulseless,” Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito said of Flagler Beach and Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedics. Neither Petito nor Flagler Beach Fire Chief Matt Doughney had the man’s identity. Without his identity, an AdventHealth Palm Coast spokesperson said further information about the man could not be obtained for now.
“The victim is local from Palm Coast, 80 years of age, and there was nothing suspicious about it from a law enforcement standpoint,” Doughney said.
911 dispatchers got the first call about the possible drowning at 9:08 this morning, when the caller reported that a body had just washed up on shore between North 12th and 13th Streets (later amended to closer to 14th Street). The man was pulled from the water a minute later.
“We got on scene and the individual was being pulled from the water,” Flagler Beach Fire Department Captain Stephen Cox said. “He didn’t have a pulse and he wasn’t breathing.”
A civilian woman at the scene knew CPR, and started administering it. At 9:13, dispatchers got information from the scene that the man was believed to have died. Rescuers drove the man to AdventHealth at 9:33 a.m. as a Code 3 (with lights and sirens), by which time the man would have been unresponsive for at least 25 minutes. It isn’t clear at what time the ambulance reached the hospital.
The man was in his swimming trunks, suggesting that he had gone to the beach specifically for a swim. His vehicle, a 2016 Mercedes-Benz, was recovered at the scene.
“He was by himself, but there was a fisherman just to the south of him that witnessed him going into the water,” Cox said, “then didn’t see him for a couple of minutes. Then he saw him floating near the surf.”
“Whether there were underlying conditions, that’s something either his primary care physician or an autopsy is going to determine,” Doughney said. “As of now from a law enforcement perspective it’s a death call, no suspicious circumstances.” Doughney noted that the man was not pronounced dead at the scene.
It is the first drowning in Flagler Beach in a little over two years. On May 1, 2018, Amy Halstead, a 49-year-old resident of Napoleon Township in Michigan, was caught in a riptide and was pulled out of the water unresponsive. Her pulse and breathing were revived, though she never regained consciousness, and two days later she died at the hospital. She had been vacationing with family.