WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The body of a 30-year-old man was recovered from the waters off Conimicut Point following an hours-long search on Sunday.
A U.S. Coast Guard cutter continued searching through the night for an 11-year-old girl.
Warwick Fire Chief Peter McMichael said two people were sent to the hospital and another man died after trying to save the girl.
“It’s heartbreaking. There’s no other way to look at it,” he said. “Most of us here have children of our own and it really hits close to home. It’s the worst day you can imagine, to have something like this happen.”
Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi, who was on scene Sunday, posted on Facebook following the recovery of the man’s body. He described the man as a hero who lost his life trying to save the child.
Marine task force crews were called to Conimicut Point around 3 p.m.
Police and fire boats could be seen in the area of the sandbar, along with first responders wading in the water and scanning a stretch of shoreline.
Multiple agencies later joined the search, including the U.S. Coast Guard, Rhode Island DEM and area police dive teams.
Conimicut Point Beach does have several signs reading “no lifeguards on duty, swim at your own risk, and possible rip current warnings.”
McMichael said this isn’t the first incident at the beach.
“People walk out there and do not realize just how fast the tide comes in and can sweep them away. The current is very, very strong here,” he said.