man apparently drowns in Waves rip current
43-year-old visitor to Hatteras apparently drowned today in the ocean
in Waves, according to Paul Stevens, chief enforcement ranger for the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Stevens identified the man as Todd Buchy of Worthington, Ohio.
He said that Buchy was at the ocean beach with about 16 other members
of his family, who were all vacationing together, when he disappeared
in the surf.
Dare County Communications, he said, got the call at 2:30 p.m. on
Thursday, June 30, about a person in trouble at the oceanfront near La
Waves Drive in Waves.
Responding were Chicamacomico Banks Fire and Rescue (water rescue
team), Dare County Emergency Medical Services, and the National Park
The first responders were able to locate the man who was floating face
down in the water. He was brought ashore and EMS and water
performed CPR. They were not able to revive the victim.
"It does appear that there was a rip current in the area," Stevens said.
He added that NPS is considering the death an apparent drowning.
Buchy’s is the first drowning death this year in the ocean at the
seashore. On Monday, June 27, a 3-year-old boy from Virginia apparently
drowned in the swimming pool of a rental house in Salvo.
Rip currents are strong, narrow currents that rush back out to sea
through breaks in the sandbar. They can pull even the strongest
swimmers out to sea.
Rip currents are a constant danger, especially for visitors not used to
swimming in the ocean. And they are the cause for most
in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm. Don’t fight
current and try to swim straight into the beach, even if you are a
strong swimmer. The currents are usually very narrow and you
escape by swimming parallel to the beach, until you are out of the
rip. Then swim toward the beach.
If you are unable to escape by swimming, float or tread
When the current weakens, swim at an angle away from the current toward
Signal for help if you need it.
On its website, the seashore offers these additional ocean swimming
lifeguarded beaches. The National Park Service is currently operating
lifeguarded beaches Coquina Beach on Bodie Island, Cape Hatteras Beach
near the old lighthouse site, and Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach. The
beaches are staffed by lifeguards from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day
but Tuesday, until Labor Day. The park hopes to add Tuesday
lifeguards when hiring is completed.
use Coast Guard-approved flotation vests, even while wading.
- Do not swim
ocean alone - take a buddy with you.
sober - don't swim while intoxicated. Alcohol can affect your
judgment and your body temperature - impairing your ability to swim.
swim during rough seas. Broken necks and paralysis have resulted from
swimmers being thrown into the ocean bottom headfirst.
force of big waves crashing at the shore's edge can pick you up and
throw you into the sand. This may result in a dislocated shoulder or
- Due to
currents, never swim in the inlets.
- Do not swim
or near fishing piers.
only with adult supervision.
- Know the
types of ocean currents and how to get out of them.
- Watch the
Storms and squalls come up quickly.
- Don't swim
thunderstorms. Lightning is extremely dangerous and does strike the
- Don't wear
objects when swimming - these objects may attract sharks and other
for jellyfish. If stung, seek first aid if needed. Don't rub sand on
the stings. Spraying or pouring vinegar on the sting
reduces the pain. If you don't have vinegar, try ammonia or denatured
- Do not swim
surfers - surfboard fins can cut you.
Information on the rip current threat for each day is available on NOAA
weather radio. You can also get the information online at www.weather.gov/newport.
Click on the surf zone forecast.
Rip current information is also available on at the Cape Hatteras
National Seashore site, www.nps.gov/caha, and at the Eena
Park Service Visitor Centers in Buxton and Ocracoke have information on
rip currents and surf zone forecasts.
Another source for information on dangerous rip currents is the local
surfing reports, which are usually broadcast on the local radio