FRISCO, N.C. - A Dare County resident is being credited with saving two girls' lives with an ocean rescue Saturday in Frisco.
Jeffrey Del Monte, his wife and his friend were driving an off-road vehicle on the beach near Ramp 49 when they heard children screaming, according to the National Parks Service. Del Monte spotted two young girls struggling in the water while being swept out by a rip current.
Del Monte and his friend swam out to the girls, where he retrieved one of the girls and passed her to his friend to take back to shore. He then rescued the second girl and brought her back to the beach from nearly 100 yards out, according to NPS.
Del Monte and his friend then tended to them until Dare County Emergency Medical Services and a Cape Hatteras National Seashore Ranger arrived on scene.
“Jeffrey Del Monte’s heroic, selfless, and prompt actions were critical to saving these two girls from a very dangerous situation,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “I am thankful for his courage and expertise which allowed him to perform this successful ocean rescue.”
Lifeguards with the Search and Rescue Team in Kill Devil Hills, N.C. told News 3 in a 2018 interview that rip currents can happen at any time, but especially during low tide.
They said the majority of people who are prone to drift away in the ocean are less experienced swimmers, and people caught in one should try to float on their back until help arrives.