Open letter to the Ocracoke community
Dear Ocracoke Family:
As you probably know, a woman drowned here on Thursday and her daughter was flown to the Greenville hospital for observation and treatment of near-drowning.
What you might not know is it was my sister, Deborah DeBarth Fraga, who died and my niece, Amanda Fraga, 17, who was airlifted off island. Mandi is physically OK. We brought her back from Greenville yesterday.
At a time of tragedy like this the true beauty of the Ocracoke Community emerges.
On the behalf of my family, I want to thank all the emergency responders and concerned volunteers who assisted on the beach.
I watched as EMS, law enforcement officers from several agencies, members of the fire department and others labored in the 100+ degree heat, sweating through their uniforms while doing CPR, resuscitation, and helping in so many ways.
Their efforts were truly heroic.
Other members of the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department left their jobs and their homes to secure the helipad and direct traffic.
We also thank all the community members who reached out to us with cards, texts, food, and other support.
I will not mention individual names for fear of leaving someone out. If you were there or if you helped in any way, we thank you.
As hard as this is, we are blessed to be on Ocracoke and to be members of this wonderful community.
The Family of Debbie Fraga
Editor’s note: The Observer thanks Ken DeBarth for his letter to the community. The Observer posted the story of the drowning here. We extend our deepest condolences to Ken, Ruth and their family at this sad and difficult time.