70-Year-Old Man Dies Trying to Save Grandson Caught in Rough South Carolina Beach Waters

Grandpa Drowns
A grandfather died after trying to save his grandson from rough waters off Pawleys Island in South Carolina.Town of Pawleys Island/Facebook

A grandfather trying to rescue his grandson from rough surf died after suffering a heart attack, authorities said.

A 70-year-old man lost his life after he waded into rough surf to rescue his grandson, who was struggling in the water, authorities said.

Pawleys Island Police officers in South Carolina responded Wednesday to a drowning report at the beach, the department said.

They found good Samaritans trying to revive the grandfather with CPR, said Pawleys Island Police Chief Michael Fanning.

The man was rushed to Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital, but died from cardiac arrest, authorities said.

"The grandson was out there, and the water had been a little rough today. He went in to rescue his grandson or help him out and unfortunately got caught up in the rough surf himself," Fanning said, according to local reports.

The grandfather was identified by the Georgetown County Coroner's Office as Derrell Lambert of West Columbia.

"I am so saddened to hear this. Derrell was a true friend and always a kind-hearted person," one person wrote on Facebook in a post about Lambert's death.

"His kindness was unforgettable," another wrote. "May God comfort and bring peace to his family, especially his little Grandson."

The child, who is 9, was transported to an area hospital for treatment of salt water ingestion. He has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, WCSC-TV reported.

There are no lifeguards on that stretch of beach, where rip tides had recently been reported. The police chief urged swimmers to be aware of water conditions and practice safety.

"Swimming in the ocean is definitely not like swimming in a lake or a river. The currents and the waves and the wind have a lot to do with it. Unfortunately, we don’t have any lifeguards here, so you’re really swimming at your own risk," Fanning said.

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