2 Swimmers Die Within 24 Hours Off NC's Outer Banks

Official say conditions are extremely dangerous for all but the strongest swimmers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2023 6:23 PM CDT
2 Swimmers Die Within 24 Hours Off NC's Outer Banks
This Aug. 24, 2011 file photo shows beachgoers at Cape Hatteras, NC.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

After the deaths of two tourists in the space of 24 hours, authorities are urging visitors to North Carolina's Outer Banks to avoid swimming at ocean-side beaches. Authorities say a 28-year-old woman from Washington, DC, died Monday after she was "overtaken by strong waves" at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, CBS News reports. The park said the woman "disappeared in the surf," according to witnesses, and shortly afterward, "the victim was observed face-down in rough ocean conditions."

The second death also occurred at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the News & Observer reports. Authorities say a man from Hillsboro, Ohio, died Tuesday morning after he was rescued from the water but first responders were unable to revive him. Bystanders who called 911 said the "victim was swimming in the ocean when he shouted for help," the park said. "The bystanders saw the 68-year-old man starting to go under water, when they swam out and pulled him to shore." Warnings about rip currents had been issued on both days.

David Hallac, the superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, said the park sends its condolences to the families of the two swimmers. He said "high-energy surf conditions" that could make it "difficult, if not impossible, for all but the strongest, most experienced swimmers to survive" are expected to persist this week. He said visitors should avoid wading in even shallow water. He suggested that visitors visit one of the sound-side beaches "for a safer opportunity to enjoy the water when hazardous ocean conditions are present." (More North Carolina stories.)

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