CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. – A Sayville, New York, man died Thursday while swimming off the Cape Hatters National Seashore in Avon, North Carolina.
According to a release from the National Parks Service, rescue personnel responded to the scene of multiple groups of swimmers in distress around 3:30 p.m.
Hatteras Island Rescue Squad dispatched two jet skies that helped to bring people back to shore. Officials say a local also used his surfboard to help one swimmer that was in need of assistance.
The 48-year-old man was one of at least six swimmers brought back to shore, but medical personnel were unable to resuscitate him after performing CPR.
Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, Dare County Emergency Medical Services, Dare County Sheriff’s Office and National Park Service Rangers all responded to the incident.
“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 Cape Hatters National Seashore Superintendent David Hallac.
Officials say there was a moderate risk of a rip current in the area Thursday.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 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. Only experienced surf swimmers who know how to escape rip currents should enter the water.”
The National Parks Service says this is the fourth swimming-related fatality off the Seashore this year. There were seven swimming-related fatalities in 2017 and eight in 2016.