Galveston drowning: 20-year-old Dickinson woman drowns near rock jetty

A 20-year-old Dickinson woman drowned near a rock jetty in Galveston over the weekend. 

According to Galveston Island Beach Patrol, they received a call for a missing swimmer around 12:30 a.m. at Tower 47, near the rock jetty.

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Numerous authorities responded and quickly found the woman floating face down on the east side of the rock jetty. 

Galveston Island Beach Patrol then entered the water and brought the woman back to shore. 

CPR was immediately started on the woman, who was transported to the hospital where she later died. 

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Officials stated that witnesses reported the woman either jumped or fell into the water on the west side of the rock jetty and appeared to have started to swim around the area. That's when the witnesses lost sign of the woman and called 911.

"So where she fell in the water there is a rip current in that location," said Galveston Beach Patrol Lt. Austin Kerwin.

This is the fourth drowning on the island since Memorial Day weekend. The first happened on May 25 near Pleasure Pier, then one the next day, May 26 at 76th St. and Seawall. Another one occurred June 7 at Bermuda Beach.

All of the drownings are either associated with a rip current or happened in an area where rip currents are normal.

Kerwin says anything that sticks out in the water like a jetty or a pier will create a rip current.

"Rip currents account for about 80% of rescues and drowning events throughout the nation," he said.

He says the rip current doesn't pull a swimmer down - it pulls a swimmer out further into the ocean.

He says when caught up, swimmers tend to panic and exert all their energy, which can lead to a drowning.

He says if you're caught in a rip current, do not swim against it. Instead, float and allow the current to take you out a ways then swim sideways along the normal current to shore.

He says it's important to stay up to date with the tide conditions. You can do so on their website.