Fayette County

Lexington man dies in South Carolina while trying to save nephew

Photo by Getty Images/ThinkStockphoto
Photo by Getty Images/ThinkStockphoto

A 45-year-old Lexington man died Sunday in South Carolina after he was caught in a rip current while trying to save his 17-year-old nephew, authorities said.

He was identified as John Palmer.

Isle of Palms fire Chief Ann Graham said the fire department was called to assist a swimmer, and by the time it arrived, another swimmer had gone out to assist the first. The first swimmer, the 17-year-old, managed to make it back to shore, but Palmer did not, Graham said.

Two firefighters on a personal watercraft went out to help Palmer, Graham said. The current was so strong that one of the firefighters was pulled under while trying to reach Palmer, but he refused to let go, she said. Palmer was pulled back to shore, where CPR was performed, Graham said.

Palmer was taken to East Cooper Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Charleston County deputy coroner Kelly Kraus said.

WKYT-TV reported that Palmer was born and raised in Lexington and was president of H2Osmosis.