On Thursday afternoon, a 48-year-old male died while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in Avon.
A 911 call for a multi-person water rescue was received at 3:28 p.m. After arriving on scene, in front of Ocean Isle Loop in Avon, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad observed multiple groups of swimmers in distress.
Hatteras Island Rescue Squad immediately dispatched two jet skis and began the process of bringing the swimmers back to the beach. A bystander on a surfboard also assisted with the rescue by bringing one swimmer to safety. At least six people were brought back to the beach.
During the rescue efforts, the 48-year-old male visiting from Sayville, New York, received CPR on the beach by Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, but efforts were unsuccessful. He was the only fatality during this incident.
Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, Dare County Emergency Medical Services, Dare County Sheriff’s Office, and National Park Service Rangers all responded to the incident.
This is the fourth swimming-related fatality off the Cape Hatteras National Seashore this year. There were seven swimming-related fatalities in 2017, and eight in 2016.
Per the National Park Service, there was a moderate risk of rip currents near the Avon area on Thursday. (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration considers a moderate risk to mean that “wind, wave, and tide conditions support the development of stronger or more frequent rip currents along the beaches.”)
“We extend our sympathy to the victim’s family. This tragic event is a very sad reminder of the dangers posed by rip currents,” said Superintendent David Hallac.