On Sunday evening, a 61-year-old man from Oak Hills, Virginia, died in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Hatteras National Seashore near Hatteras Village. The water-related fatality occurred 1.5 miles north of Ramp 55 near Flambu Road.
A 911 call was received by Dare County Dispatch at 5:25 p.m. A bystander observed the swimmer in apparent distress and attempted a rescue. The bystander brought the 61-year-old male visitor from closer to shore where he was met by rescue personnel.
CPR efforts were initiated by rescue personnel but were unsuccessful. National Park Service Rangers, Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue, Dare County Emergency Medical Services, and Dare County Sheriff Officers responded to the incident.
The cause of death is unknown until a medical examination is performed.
A high risk of rip currents was forecast for most of the beaches along Hatteras and Ocracoke islands today, and rip currents were observed in the area. A high risk of rip currents means that “wind and/or wave conditions support dangerous rip currents. Rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf.”
This is the second water-related fatality off Cape Hatteras National Seashore this year. There were five fatalities in 2018, seven in 2017, and eight in 2016.
“Our staff offer our deepest sympathies to his family and friends,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “We urge all visitors to be very careful when swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, especially with the approaching storm. Additionally, we would like to thank the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad for their swift response.”