Witnesses describe frantic scene on beach as officials respond to reported drowning on IOP
By 5 a.m. the beach was cleared, but those in the area of Coconut Joe's on Isle of Palms say things were much different earlier in the morning as police swarmed and cars were parked on the beach.
Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch got a report at 3:22 a.m. of a drowning in that area of Ocean Boulevard. The caller, described as distressed, called twice. IOP police, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, EMS and fire units were dispatched.
Ocean Boulevard was shut down, emergency crews used the beach access patch of Coconut Joe's to reach the scene. Witnesses claim they saw people performing CPR.
"They we're all yelling, pumping his chest and all," witness Megan Weaver said.
Fire officials later confirmed 42-year-old Ronald Sanchez was lost in the water and pulled to the beach by his brother several minutes later. Sanchez was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.
The tide moved out as crews left the scene, leaving little evidence of what may have occurred in the water or on the beach as crews responded.
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