GALVESTON, Texas - A deadly holiday weekend on Galveston Island as two people drowned within 24 hours.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Parker, a tourist at the beach. “I’m sad that it turned out the way that it did.”
On Sunday, beach patrol says a teenager and her father were seen struggling in the surf near 47th and Seawall Blvd. The teenage girl was rescued. However, her 57-year-old father didn’t survive.
“That’s when they found the person,” said Alexis, a witness from the beach. “Next thing you know, they started CPR in the water and headed towards land.”
A second drowning also occurred earlier in the weekend. A 16-year-old was last seen swimming on Saturday near Seawall Blvd and 45th. Tragically, his body was found on the beach late Sunday morning.
“This is really difficult for my staff,” said Peter Davis with Galveston Island Beach Patrol. “They all know it’s part of the job, but you still can’t help but feel responsible, even if it’s something outside of [your control].”
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While it’s unclear what caused both drownings, Davis believes a rip current could have been a factor in at least one of the deaths.
“Our main goal is to get seven million plus people home every year,” said Davis. “We take it very seriously. When something like that happens, particularly in an area adjacent to lifeguarded areas, it hits especially hard.”
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So far this summer, four people have drowned while swimming along Galveston Beaches. Two of the deaths, occurred this Labor Day weekend.
“You want to make sure you swim right by the lifeguard tower,” said Davis. “Stay close to shore. Don’t think of this is a pool or a pond. It’s a lot more dangerous. It doesn’t take long for something that’s fun to turn tragic.”