You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Snorkeler who drowned Sunday identified as Boynton Beach resident


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.

» Download our PostNOW app to get the latest Breaking News

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.

The Boynton Beach Inlet has long been one of the most dangerous swimming spots in Palm Beach County.

While the south side of the inlet is patrolled by lifeguards daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., there are no lifeguards stationed on the north side.

After three people drowned in 2014 while swimming in the area, multiple signs were posted that read: “Hazardous conditions. Unguarded area. Lifeguard protected swimming area located south side of the inlet.”

A sand transfer station that creates sharp drop-offs on the north side also results in hazardous swimming conditions not far from shore. Strong currents can drag swimmers and surfers on the north side into the inlet’s jetty or out to sea.

Despite that, authorities say there is usually no shortage of people going into the ocean on the north side.

Sunday’s surf conditions were especially perilous. The National Weather Service in Miami issued a high risk of dangerous rip currents early Sunday morning for Palm Beach County’s coastline as beaches were battered by persistent waves and easterly winds.

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.

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.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

JUST IN: West Palm teen posing as doctor gets trial date in Virginia
JUST IN: West Palm teen posing as doctor gets trial date in Virginia

A Virginia court has set a trial date for the the West Palm Beach teen who made national headlines when he posed as doctor in Palm Beach County, according to court records. Malachi Love-Robinson, 19, faces four charges including obtaining money under false pretenses, identity theft among others in Stafford County, Va. Love-Robinson, who was arrested...
Corey Jones shooting: The voice on the line when Jones called
Corey Jones shooting: The voice on the line when Jones called

It was only Madeline Tolliver’s fifth day on the job at a call center for Allied Dispatch Solutions. And the first two were for training. She introduced herself as Maddie to the predawn caller who calmly told her his name was Corey Jones and asked for a tow truck because his car wouldn’t start. Moments later, Tolliver, a 27-year-old woman...
Cerabino: No buts about it, Lake Worth pol a wiz at email banter
Cerabino: No buts about it, Lake Worth pol a wiz at email banter

I used to think that I was a champ at answering nasty emails. But then I observed Lake Worth City Manager Mike Bornstein, a veritable master of email jiu jitsu. “Generally when someone is using vulgar language it reflects ultimate frustration and anger about something,” Bornstein explained to me. “In order to ratchet down the emotions...
NEW: Lake Worth man sentenced to 25 years for lewd conduct with girl
NEW: Lake Worth man sentenced to 25 years for lewd conduct with girl

A Lake Worth man accused of exposing himself to a young girl, touching her inappropriately and forcing the victim to watch pornographic movies was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison. Mark C. Campbell, 52, was found guilty Tuesday of lewd and lascivious molestation, lewd and lascivious exhibition and showing obscene material to a minor. Campbell...
'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5
'House of Cards' will 'Bring the Terror' in Season 5

As the nation watched Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th president, Frank Underwood already was planning ahead. Netflix released a teaser Friday for the fifth season of its presidential drama, "House of Cards." Underwood, the crafty politician played by Kevin Spacey, will return to action on May 30, Netflix announced.   The teaser...
More Stories