Paraglider dies after crashing into ocean near Kill Devil Hills

Posted at 12:25 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 12:31:18-04

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. - A 52-year-old paraglider pilot dies after he crashed into the ocean Tuesday morning.

Police say around 6:55 a.m., officers responded to a call regarding a paraglider crashing in to the ocean near Avalon Pier.

A witness on the beach near the pier saw the paraglider experiencing difficulty and the pilot landed in the ocean approximately 50 yards offshore and close to the Avalon Pier, according to police.

The witness called 911, then grabbed a wet suit and two surfboards to attempt a rescue.

Kill Devil Hills officers lowered a rescue rope to the pilot, but he was trapped in his harness.

Police say both the witness and officers were able to stabilize the pilot, but the weight of the paraglider's motor, the harness, and strong waves, caused the pilot to drown.

Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue and Fire Department aided in the lifesaving and recovery efforts.

According to officials, lifeguards ultimately had to cut the pilot free from the harness to free him.

Police say the family is now being notified.