July 21, 2012

Ohio labor leader drowns off Ocracoke


A 55-year-old labor leader from Westlake, Ohio, drowned yesterday while swimming in the ocean off Ocracoke.

He was identified by a family friend and the Cleveland Plain Dealer as Seth Rosen, District 4 vice-president of the Communications Workers of America.

According to Park Service Ranger Sam Salter, the incident happened at Ramp 59 at the north end of Ocracoke.

Rosen and his wife, Kathi, were both in the water.  She made it out safely, but he did not.

The incident was called into 911 about 4:27 p.m.

The Park Service responded, along with Ocracoke lifeguards, the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, Hyde County Emergency Medical Services and the county Sheriff’s Office.

Rosen was spotted about 30 minutes later about a quarter mile north of where he disappeared.

Salter said that he was brought to shore unresponsive and that CPR was started immediately.  Once he was in the ambulance, advanced life support measures were taken.

He was pronounced dead at the Ocracoke Health Center.

Yesterday was windy with rough seas.  The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., had forecast a moderate threat of rip currents yesterday off Ocracoke.

According to the Plain Dealer, Rosen led 75,000 people in the Midwest district of the CWA.

In a blog posted this afternoon, Becky Williams, president of the Service Employees International Union, said this about Rosen:

“Seth was the Vice President of the Communications Workers of America, District 4 and a friend to all workers in Ohio and around the world. Seth knew that workers in America had strength and power to fight for what is right, they just needed a catalyst to get them organized and working together.

“Seth Rosen cared enough to inspire us all to build a better world for working people and their families. Through Seth's leadership, we were able to defeat attacks on workers' rights in Ohio through the repeal of Senate Bill 5 and develop new partnerships that allow community and labor partners to work together for good jobs and stronger communities.”

Seth Rosen was the father of two children, Amanda and Josh.

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