A Tulane University law professor has been identified as one of two swimmers who died during the weekend in rough surf kicked up by Hurricane Rita along Florida Panhandle beaches, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Martin David Gelfand, 54, a member of the Tulane faculty in New Orleans for 30 years, drowned Sunday while swimming at Pensacola Beach. He held the Phelps Chair in Constitutional Law at Tulane and was an expert in First Amendment rights. He had evacuated to Florida because of Hurricane Katrina.

  • Anonymous

    May his soul rest in peace. Amen

  • Very very sad. His final days had been spent setting up and leading a new organization with other Tulane faculty members and lawyers to help Katrina victims called From the Lake to the River (http://www.fromthelaketotheriver.org). God bless.

  • Its a sad and tragic event. It’s also sad that the responding lifeguards who were there within minutes did not have any equipment in their truck….no Ixygen bottle and no Automatic external Defribillator, even though they are always supposed to have them in their patrol vehicles.