Officials: Kentucky man drowns while rescuing teen off IOP

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Kentucky man drowned Sunday off the coast of Isle of Palms while trying to rescue a teenaged family member, officials said.

According to the coroner's office, 45-year-old John Palmer, of Lexington, Ky., was in the Lowcountry on vacation when he went in to try and save a relative who was caught in the surf. Palmer's efforts helped the teen make it back to shore, but Palmer did not return, officials said.

Isle of Palms dispatch officials said the incident happened shortly after noon in the water near 51st Avenue.

Fire officials said there were huge waves and a strong current in the area at the time of the rescue.

An incident report from the Isle of Palms Fire Department shows a rescue worker on a jet ski tried to rescue Palmer and was knocked off the jet ski by the five-foot waves.

Officials pronounced Palmer dead at East Cooper Medical Center after pulling him from the water.