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Youth baseball coach drowns trying to rescue son, teammates

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By all accounts, Darin McGahey of McDonough, Ga., was the kind of baseball coach you wanted for your child — knowledgeable, patient, easygoing and selfless. Tragically, one last act of selflessness led to his death.

McGahey drowned July 7 off Navarre Beach, Fla., while trying to save his 11-year-old son and three of his other Locust Grove Razorback charges from drowning themselves. His death came on the second day of the July 6-11 USSSA baseball AA-level (rec league, restricted rosters or drafted players) World Series in Pace, Fla.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

On [July 13], members of the [11]-and-under Locust Grove Razorbacks, dressed in uniform, will attend the McDonough man’s funeral in the town where he lived. McGahey was their assistant coach. …

McGahey had jumped in with the boys flailing away in water over their heads. One of them was his son, Noah, 11, one of the team’s best players. The rescue became more difficult the farther the older McGahey went out. …

Two other dads found Darin McGahey, pulled him to the beach barely conscious and frantically administered CPR. Other parents did their best to shield Noah McGahey and half-brother, Austin, 15, who had tagged along on the Florida road trip, from the horror. …

Family members remained in a state of shock, over how something so well intentioned as a baseball trip could turn out so numbing. McGahey left behind his wife of 12 years, Ann Hightower, and three sons, including Dustin McGahey, 17.

“It hasn’t hit them yet,” said Jeff McGahey, 38, the man’s brother.

The children who McGahey tried to save are all right. They found shelter on a  sand bar.

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