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Snorkeler who drowned Sunday identified as Boynton Beach resident


Update at 1 p.m.: Paul Swingle retired from his job as a computer scientist in 2014 and spent the ensuing years doing what he loved — traveling, flying and spending time on the water.

On Sunday, the 67-year-old Boynton Beach resident drowned despite desperate rescue attempts after he was caught up in rough waters while snorkeling near the Boynton Beach Inlet.

Swingle was diving in the ocean on the north side of the inlet and was swept up in the inlet’s notoriously strong currents, Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies said.

Mark Swingle, one of Paul Swingle’s two adult sons, said authorities told the family a friend was swimming with his father when he got into trouble.

“It sounds like something he would have been doing,” Mark Swingle said of his father snorkeling on a Sunday afternoon.

Paul Swingle was a native New Yorker who moved to Delray Beach in the 1960s after he began working at IBM in Boca Raton. Swingle worked there until IBM closed their Boca Raton facility in 1996. He had two adult children and had been married twice, Mark Swingle said.

Mark Swingle said his father, who was also a certified pilot, had spent much of his retirement traveling around the world.

Original story: A man who drowned Sunday evening at the Boynton Beach Inlet has been identified as a Boynton resident.

Paul Swingle, 67, was snorkeling when he drowned despite the rescue attempts of onlookers.

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Swingle was diving in the ocean on the north side of the inlet and was swept up in the inlet’s notoriously strong currents, Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies said. He wasn’t immediately identified by deputies. He was taken to JFK Medical Center in Atlantis at about 5:15 p.m. where he was pronounced dead, the agency said.

Rich Stevens, who was at the inlet and shot video of rescue attempts, said beach-goers desperately tried to reach him as currents dragged him into the jetty, where he crashed into the rocks. “People started screaming,” the Delray Beach man said. “But the current was so forceful. It brought him under the pier and under the bridge.”

Swingle was plucked from the water by a private boater who took him to a dock where paramedics were waiting, said Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Albert Borroto.


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