A mother-daughter vacation turned fatal after a 17-year-old New Yorker drowned while swimming in the ocean in Cocoa Beach, FL, on Dec. 3, the day before her 18th birthday.
Danielle Marceline planned the trip alone by researching activities and booking an Airbnb. On the trip were her mother, Christine Marceline; best friend, Mary Doyle; and a family friend. According to Space Coast Daily, the incident happened South of Cape Canaveral around 1 p.m.
Christine went to get lunch while Mary and Danielle were swimming in the ocean. Beachgoers contacted Cocoa Beach police and fire departments about two girls in distress. Lifeguards were able to save Mary but not Danielle, who was already swept out to sea by a strong current. The U.S. Coast Guard couldn’t find the teen’s body until it washed up on the beach the next day and was found by a couple walking around 1 a.m.
“This was supposed to be an amazing mother-daughter weekend,” Christine told Times Union. “It was something she always wanted. It was supposed to be the best weekend of her life and it took her life away.”
“Just wanted to say happy birthday to the most beautiful girl I know inside and out,” she wrote. “Your literally the reason why I got where I am today. I love you so much, Danielle you mean everything to me. I’m beyond speechless I just wish I could have one more convo or just even [hear] you laugh one more time. But I love you always, Danielle. Happy 18th bestie.”
Danielle was a student at Catholic Central School in Latham, New York, where she played varsity volleyball and was also a talented dancer. According to a statement from Lansingburgh Central School District Superintendent Antonio Abitabile, teachers described Danielle as an “absolute please to have in class, bringing smiles to those around her.”
A GoFundMe was created to help the family with all expenses.