According to the Essex County District Attorney, a 44-year-old man who was pulled from a rip current on Wednesday after attempting to save his son off the coast of Salisbury, Massachusetts, has passed away.
Gary Simard, 44, was reportedly at Salisbury Beach with his family when one of the kids was dragged out from the shoreline by a strong current and was unable to swim in, according to witnesses.
“I can hear ‘Help, help.’ So I’m looking out and I see someone, and the father goes running in and now he’s with his son, but now he’s screaming, ‘Help me, help me,'” said Robin DiNatale, who dialed 911.
The good samaritans were successful in saving the child and getting back to land. Simard, however, was nowhere to be seen.
Simard was later found in the water by the Salisbury Fire Department and Police Department when they attended to the area.
According to Salisbury police Sgt. James Leavitt, “He had to be rescued through fire department, and one of our police officers went in and retrieved him from the water, and then, from there, paramedic units took over,” said Salisbury police Sgt. James Leavitt.
Prior to being transported to the Seabrook Emergency Room, where Simard was later declared dead, first responders tried CPR at the beach.
One of the good Samaritans was also transported to the hospital as a precaution after experiencing breathing difficulties and feeling exhausted.
“He said, ‘I have no breath. I can’t breathe, I’m so exhausted. I can’t move.’ So he was just lying there,” DiNatale said.
Emergency personnel hope that beachgoers will pay attention to the tide warnings.
“They come out of nowhere,” Leavitt said. “Just stay where it’s safe.”
Police stated that the family was staying in a beachfront rental.
To support Simard’s family and help with funeral costs, a GoFundMe has been setup.