June 5, 2013
Visitor drowns in rip current on Ocracoke
By IRENE NOLAN
A 55-year-old Kentucky man drowned on Friday, May 31, while swimming near milepost 68 at the Pony Pens on Ocracoke.
to National Park Service law enforcement ranger Jon Anglin, a call to
Hyde County dispatch was received about 7:30 p.m. about a swimmer in
The National Park Service, the Hyde County Sheriff’s
Office, Hyde County Emergency Medical Services, and the Ocracoke
Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call.
Ocracoke district ranger Ed Fuller, the man was apparently caught in a
rip current and was about 30 yards offshore when the first responders
A park ranger and a sheriff’s deputy donned floatation gear and retrieved the victim from the water.
The victim was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the Ocracoke Health Center.
He was identified as John Mark Bell of Georgetown, Ky.
to the Lexington, Ky., television station, WLEX, Bell had been married
the weekend before and was on his honeymoon on Ocracoke.
was the first drowning of the season on Cape Hatteras National
Seashore. However, rip currents are a major cause of drowning on
the seashore beaches.
Rip currents are strong river-like
currents that move away from the shore. If caught in a rip
current, stay calm, wave for assistance, and swim parallel to shore.
Don't swim against the current. Once out of the current, swim
directly to shore.
For more information on rip currents
rip current forecast: Click on the yellow tab on The Island Free Press
Front Page – at the top on the right. The tab will take you to
the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., and the daily rip
Eena Project: www.eenaproject.com
Weather Channel: www.weather.com
National Park Service – Cape Hatteras Seashore: www.nps.gov/caha