National Park Service

Ohio man dies in Atlantic Ocean near Buxton

The water is rougher on Ocracoke. Educate yourself about rip currents and ocean safety. Photo: C. Leinbach

A 53-year-old Ohio man apparently drowned today in the ocean off Buxton, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore has reported.

The fatality occurred around noon less than a mile north of the former location of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. A family member brought the Bellbrook, Ohio, man back to shore where CPR efforts were initiated by bystanders but were unsuccessful, the park service reported.

National Park Service rangers, Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue, Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, Dare County Emergency Medical Services and Dare County Sheriff officers responded after the 911 call was received at 11:49 a.m.
The victim was not using a flotation device, and the cause of death is unknown until a medical examination is performed, the Park Service said.

A high risk of rip currents was forecast for most of the beaches along the Seashore today.  That means that “wind and/or wave conditions support dangerous rip currents,” the Park Service said. “Rip currents are life-threatening to anyone entering the surf.”

This is the first water-related fatality off Cape Hatteras National Seashore this year.

There were five fatalities in 2018, seven in 2017 and eight in 2016.
“Our staff offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “We urge all visitors to be very careful when swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.”

To read one islander’s perspective on how to spot dangerous and safe water, click here.

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