June 27, 2013
Virginia man drowns on seashore beach in Frisco
By IRENE NOLAN
22-year-old man from Montpelier, Va., drowned and his 15-year-old
brother almost drowned on Wednesday, June 26, in an incident on the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach in Frisco.
Hatteras Island District Ranger David Carter, the call for help for
swimmers in trouble about 200 yards north of the Frisco Pier came in
shortly after noon. The National Park Service, Dare County Emergency
Medical Services, and the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad responded.
said the brothers were on the beach with their parents when the younger
one went into the ocean to swim. Carter said he got into trouble
about 100 to 200 feet from shore, and his older brother, Matthew
Ridpath, went in after him.
Meanwhile, another swimmer who was
not a member of the family group heard the calls for help and swam over
to help them. Carter said that when the rescuer got to the
brothers, Matthew was floating face down and was unresponsive, and the
younger boy was almost unconscious.
The rescuer, 33-year-old
Joshua Thurmer of Cape Coral, Fla., managed to get the brothers to
shore where CPR was started immediately.
The two victims were
transported by EMS to Vidant Family Care clinic in Avon, where Matthew
Ridpath was pronounced dead by a physician at 1:25 p.m. The
younger brother, whose name is not being released, was taken by
ambulance to Outer Banks Hospital.
Carter said the credit for the rescue of the boy definitely goes to Joshua Thurmer.
added that he did not see any obvious rip currents on the beach when he
arrived on the scene but that there had been a call for a rescue on
Tuesday, just south of the pier at the Frisco bathhouse.
“This is another example,” Carter noted, “of someone who went in (the ocean) to help and himself drowned.”
ranger said that anyone who goes into the ocean to assist a swimmer in
trouble should carry a flotation device of some sort – a raft, boogie
board, life jacket, or even a cooler.
This is the second
drowning death at the seashore this summer. A Kentucky man
drowned off an Ocracoke beach in early June.
National Weather Service had the rip current threat in the area as
“low” yesterday, these currents are a major cause of drowning on the
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
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