A father drowned Wednesday when he ran into the ocean at Salisbury Beach to rescue one of his children.

Essex County District Attorney Paul F. Tucker said Gary Simard, 44, of Methuen was assisted by two bystanders who reached the child, but could get Simard.

Salisbury Police and Fire went to the beach and located Simard near North End Boulevard. He was taken to the Seabrook Emergency Room where he was pronounced dead.

Rip current danger
Rip current danger (NWS)

The ocean was rough at Salisbury with 4-6 foot waves, according to the National Weather Service's Boston office.

According to a GoFundMe fundraiser page, Simard is a father to four children ranging from ages 6-13.

"Gary truly was a hero who not only dedicated his life to his children but literally gave his life for them," his brother Kelly wrote on the fundraiser page.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via X (Twitter) @DanAlexanderNH

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