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West Point cadet, 18, dies after trying to save a swimmer

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — A West Point cadet has died after trying to save a swimmer caught in a rip current off a Long Island beach, officials said.

U.S. Military Academy spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Kasker confirmed on Friday Thomas Surdyke’s death. The 18-year-old cadet from Festus, Missouri, had been on life support after the June 24 rescue attempt.

Southampton officials said witnesses told them Surdyke saw someone struggling in the water, rushed to help and went under himself.

Officials say the other swimmer survived.

Surdyke was entering his second year at the military academy. He would have turned 19 on the Fourth of July.

His grandfather Gary Surdyke described him to KSDK-TV in St. Louis as someone “with character, integrity and faith.”

A memorial fund has been created in his name.