PROVIDENCE – A woman and a man, fishing from the rocky shore and believed to be a couple, died after being recovered from the high surf at Fort Wetherill State Park in Jamestown shortly after 9:30 AM today.
It is believed that a wave splashed over the rocks where the couple was standing and pulled the woman into the water, and the man jumped in trying to save her, according to the initial details obtained by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Environmental Police. A US Coast Guard response crew recovered both from the water. Both were later pronounced dead at Newport Hospital. The initial 911 call came into DLE at 9:33 AM.
DEM will release the names, ages, and hometown of the victims pending notification of family members.
Environmental Police are estimating that waves in the range of six to eight feet high, generated by yesterday's Nor'easter, are breaking onto the ocean-facing coast of Jamestown. DEM urges anglers and "storm watchers" not to put themselves and first responders in danger by standing too close to the surf on rocks along the shoreline in fishing areas, breakwalls, and breachways. DEM urges the public to stay safe by remaining far away from areas where waves might splash over. Individual waves may be more than twice the average wave height. Waves possess enormous force and can easily sweep a person into the water from what may seem to be a safe fishing or viewing area.
The US Coast Guard, Jamestown Fire Department, and other agencies responded to the 911 call. Environmental Police Officer Lt. Joseph Poccia is leading the investigation for DLE.
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