Two men, both visitors, drown in an
apparent rip current in Rodanthe this afternoon -- at the end of Dean
Street just north of the Rodanthe Pier in the Cape Hatteras National
According to the seashore's chief
ranger, Boone Vandzura, Dare Central received a call at 2:38 p.m.
that swimmers were in trouble in the water near the pier.
A 70-year-old man was swimming when he
became caught in a rip current. Three men from a different group of
visitors all went into the water to try to rescue the older man.
The three would-be rescuers also got
caught in a rip current and were separated by a big wave. One of the
three, a 51-year-old male, also did not survive.
According to Vandzura, the National
Park Service, the Dare County Sheriff's Office, Dare County Emergency
Medical Services, Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer Fire Department, and
Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue responded to the call.
The water rescue team arrived in time
to pull both men out of the water and get them to the beach.
CPR was immediately started on the two
men and continued for some time, but both were declared dead on the
"It is a sad day for the two
families," Vandzura said.
The two men are the fourth and fifth
drowning victims in the seashore this summer after a summer free of
drownings in 2015.
The other drowning deaths this summer
include two on Ocracoke -- a 64-year-old woman on Aug. 11 and a
67-year-old man on July 21. On July 22, a 71-year-old man drowned
near the Frisco Pier.
Rip currents are the number-one public
safety risk on beaches in the United States, according to the
National Weather Service, and they are the most frequent cause of
drowning deaths at the seashore.
The National Weather Service issues rip
current forecasts each day, and today's risk was ranked as moderate
north of Cape Hatteras.
Rip currents are powerful, usually
narrow channeled currents of water, flowing away from shore. They
typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone, and past
the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with
Swimmers are advised to use extreme caution
and to never try to swim directly back into shore against a rip
current because you will become quickly exhausted. If you
become caught in a rip current, you should yell for help and remain
calm. Do not exhaust yourself and try to stay afloat while
waiting for help. If you have to swim out of a rip current,
swim parallel to shore and then back to the beach when possible.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
National Weather Service's beach/rip current forecast is available on
the Island Free Press home page -- at the top on the right hand side.
Look for the colorful umbrellas. It is also available at
on rip current safety is available at