New Smyrna Beach, FL – A 64-year-old Edgewater man is dead after Volusia County Beach Safety lifeguards had to pull him from the Atlantic Ocean.
Steven Kolaczewski was swimming in the waters near Grayce K. Barck Park when lifeguards got a call for help around 12:30 this afternoon, according to VCBS Captain Andrew Ethridge.
“Lifeguards responded to a bather in distress in the 1100 block [of] North [Atlantic Avenue] in New Smyrna Beach,” Ethridge added. “Beach Safety personnel pulled an unresponsive male from the water and began lifesaving efforts.”
Paramedics took Kolaczewski to a nearby hospital but were not able to save him.
“The official cause of death is pending autopsy results,” Ethridge stated.
Two other bathers were also taken to local hospitals today by paramedics with serious injuries suffered while in the water.
“They were driven into the sandbar by large waves,” Ethridge noted. “One experienced a fractured arm and the other was treated for neck and back injuries.”
VCBS did not identify those people but did note that they do expect to keep waving the red flag over the next few days due in part to rough surf conditions caused by Hurricane Florence.
“We expect the surf to build over the next few days and into the latter part of the week,” Ethridge said. “With the larger surf, we expect an elevated risk of rip currents. We are also experiencing impact injuries due to the larger waves. Please be mindful of these conditions if you plan on coming to the beach.”
Driveable parts of the beach may also see delays in opening due to the high tide expected from Florence, according to Ethridge.
All this comes a day after a 39-year-old man from Port Orange was bitten on the foot by a shark while surfing about a mile south of Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach. The injury was minor, per Ethridge.
“He refused transport after receiving medical care on scene,” Ethridge noted. “He opted to drive himself to the hospital for further treatment.”