A 75-year-old man from Downsville, New York, died Saturday in the Atlantic Ocean off the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) near Hatteras in an apparent rip current.
The Seashore reported in a press release that the fatality occurred near the northern boundary of Hatteras Village. A companion swimmer reported that the man became unconscious while attempting to escape a rip current around 2:50 p.m. He was not using a flotation device.
The companion swimmer pulled the unconscious man from the ocean with help from two bystanders. Official cause of death will be listed when a medical examination is performed.
National Park Service Rangers, Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue, and Dare County Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident.
“Our staff offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac.
A moderate risk of rip currents was forecast for all Outer Banks beaches Saturday. That means “wind and/or wave conditions support stronger or more frequent rip currents. Only experienced surf swimmers should enter the surf on moderate risk days.”
This is the third water-related fatality off Cape Hatteras National Seashore this year. There were five fatalities in 2018, seven in 2017 and eight in 2016.