Puerto Rico FBI Agent Drowns In Attempted Rescue

By Salon Staff

Published December 31, 2011 12:36AM (EST)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — An FBI agent who tried to rescue a swimmer in distress has drowned at a beach in northeast Puerto Rico, authorities said Friday.

Daniel Knapp, a 43-year-old agent who was based in San Juan, drowned on Thursday at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo, the FBI said in a statement.

Friends of the swimmer had asked Knapp for help, and he was able to reach the swimmer but was later overcome by rough ocean conditions, the FBI said.

"He died a hero, saving another life," said local FBI director Joseph S. Campbell.

Knapp was born in Loma Linda, California, graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and had been with the FBI for six years. He received the 2011 FBI Director's Award for Outstanding Criminal Investigation and the 2011 Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement.

Knapp is survived by his parents and four brothers. Some of his immediate family live in Las Vegas, where the body will be transferred for funeral arrangements.

Members of Puerto Rico's police maritime unit were able to save the unidentified swimmer.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory on Thursday that remains in effect, warning of waves of up to 14 feet (4 meters).

Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------