CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. – A 75-year-old Downsville, New York, man died Saturday afternoon while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
Authorities said the call came in at 2:50 p.m. They say the fatality happened near the northern boundary of Hatteras Village.
Someone officials described as a “companion swimmer” reported that the man became unconscious while trying to escape a rip current. The victim was reportedly not using a flotation device.
Officials say the companion swimmer pulled the man from the ocean with help from two bystanders.
The victim’s cause of death is unknown pending a medical examination.
Authorities say a moderate risk of rip currents was forecast Saturday for all beaches in the Outer Banks. This means that “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 reportedly 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.
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.