GALVESTON

A man who struggled in the water near the 53rd Street rock groin Sunday evening died between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. that night, Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis said. 

The man, 42, was visiting from Cypress and swimming with his two sons, Davis said, adding that it's likely the man was caught in a strong rip current. 

Beach patrol arrived at the rock groin about 6:15 p.m. after receiving a 911 call, Davis said. The man was off the end of the rock groin in a "no swimming" area, he said. 

The man's two sons made it to shore, and a bystander who attempted to help the distressed swimmer nearly drowned but made it back to shore, as well, Davis said. 

Lifeguards brought the man to shore, and he was transported to a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, Davis said. 

Beach patrol has already taken its guard towers in for the winter season and is patrolling the beach in a limited number of trucks.

Over the weekend, the lifeguards moved people out of dangerous situations about 900 times, Davis said. The man who died Sunday is the eighth person to die in Galveston because of drowning this year, he said. 

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri. 

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