How Virginia Beach First Responders Found 2 Drowning Victims Over July 4th Weekend

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A 12-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man died on Sunday. First responders said it was a situation where everyone was on deck when they received a missing person report at the beach.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Virginia Beach police are looking to uncover how two people drowned in the Chesapeake Bay within hours of each other.

A 12-year-old boy and a 44-year-old man died on Sunday.

First responders said it was a situation where everyone was on deck when they received a missing person report at the beach.

“We have a multi-agency response,” said Virginia Beach EMS Division Chief Bruce Nedelka.

Virginia Beach police say first responders began searching for 12-year-old Zamari Wilson in the Chesapeake Bay after her mother reported her missing.

It all happened while he and his family were visiting Virginia Beach from Washington DC for the holiday weekend. Search teams said they found Zamari’s body in the water around 1.30am on Sunday afternoon.

“We call in more EMS resources, we call in jet skis, we call in additional EMS boats, firefighters, we call in a police helicopter, we call in the Coast Guard,” the official said. Chief Nedekla.

A 44-year-old man from Virginia Beach also drowned later that day near the Lesner Bridge, which is not far from where crews found Zamari.

Virginia Beach Lifeguard Service Chief Tom Gill said lifeguards weren’t working on the bay beaches off Shore Drive. He recommends people swim in areas where lifeguards patrol the water.

“I know people want to go find their secluded beach, but it can also be one of the most dangerous places,” Chief Gill said. “Because you don’t have that protection behind you, you don’t have that team of rescuers who are highly trained, highly motivated, great people, who are there to protect you and rescue you when you need them.”

In Virginia Beach, lifeguards work in the Oceanfront, Croatan and North End resort area. EMS lifeguards patrol the beaches of Sandbridge.

“Eighty percent of our rescues are caused by rip currents, but then we have a shore break,” Gill said.

Both Gill and Chief Nedelka said whether or not there is a lifeguard on your beach, it is essential to keep an eye on the people in your party and the water conditions.

“Try to be in a buddy system, know the water conditions,” Nedelka said.

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