A 63-year-old male visitor from out-of-state died yesterday at around 5:10 p.m. while swimming near Ocracoke Island’s Pony Pen beach access.

He was reported to have been caught in a very strong rip current while attempting to rescue another swimmer in distress, according to a press release from the Outer Banks Group of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Seashore law enforcement rangers, Hyde County deputies, lifeguards, Ocracoke Emergency Medical Services and the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department all responded to the incident and attempted to revive the male swimmer, but the attempts were unsuccessful.   The other swimmer was able to safely return to shore.

No further details were available.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time,” said Seashore Superintendent David E. Hallac said in a news release.

This is the island’s first rip current-related fatality this year. Two other men died while caught in rip currents earlier this year in Frisco and Corolla.

Rip currents are strong all along the Outer Banks, including Ocracoke.  Visitors are advised to read related stories about identifying rip currents here and visit the Observer’s Rip Currents page for more information.

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  1. When we stayed at my Aunt Mary Bakers Cottage on the sound side we were not really aloud to swim on the ocean side. It really wasn’t good for swimming. To rough. Everyone swam on the sound side.
    Bless that gentleman who died trying to save another.

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