On Wednesday morning, a 55-year-old man died while swimming in the ocean in southern Frisco. The man was visiting from Benson, North Carolina, and was first observed on a small sandbar approximately 50 yards from the beach, south of the Frisco Day Use Area.
An unrelated male bystander, after hearing a call for help from the individual’s family, entered the water and attempted to provide assistance. Before the male bystander was able to reach the sandbar, however, the man was swept away from the sandbar by what may have been a rip current.
The male bystander retrieved the individual after his body returned closer to the shore. Once the male bystander brought the individual back to the beach, an unrelated female bystander attempted compression CPR. A 911 call was made at 10 a.m. and the Dare County Emergency Medical Services, Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, and Seashore Rangers responded to the incident and continued the bystander’s initial resuscitation efforts.
This is the second swimming-related fatality off the Cape Hatteras National Seashore this year, and the second within the last four days. There were seven swimming-related fatalities in 2017 and eight in 2016.
“My thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends after this tragic event,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac.
The NPS said in a press release that the waters off the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) beaches often produce powerful waves and dangerous rip currents. The NPS strongly urges all swimmers to obtain information about rip currents and swimming safety before entering the Atlantic Ocean. Rip current safety information is available at CHNS visitor centers, on its social media accounts, on NOAA’s website here: http://www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov/, on the National Weather Service’s rip current forecast website here: http://www.weather.gov/beach/mhx, and on signs located at a number of Seashore parking lots and beach walkways.
The CHNS has partnered with multiple local and national agencies to spread public safety messages on social media about ocean safety using the hashtag #LoveTheBeachRespectTheOcean.