OUTER BANKS, N.C. (KDKA) — Three people died in separate swimming-related incidents in four days at the Outer Banks last week.
The National Park Service says the victims were a 79-year-old Pennsylvania man, a 55-year-old North Carolina man and a 55-year-old Massachusetts man.
The first incident happened on Sunday, June 3. The 79-year-old man was found floating in the ocean off the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Bystanders and emergency crews were unable to resuscitate him.
The second and third incidents both happened on Wednesday, June 6. The 55-year-old North Carolina man was swept away from a sandbar by what may have been a rip current. A bystander was able to bring the man back to shore, but he could not be revived.
Several hours later, the 55-year-old Massachusetts man was found floating three feet from the shore after bystanders heard a family member calling for help. Resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.
Yesterday 2 families lost loved ones on vacation on the #OBX The 3rd fatality off our beaches in 4 days. It's important to understand the power of our ocean. It's not a lake. It's not a pool. It's a dynamic, always changing unforgiving force of nature #LoveTheBeachRespectTheOcean pic.twitter.com/A3OqSKfYDN
— Dare County EM (@DareCountyEM) June 7, 2018
According to the National Park Service, there was a total of seven swimming-related fatalities at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in 2017.
— Cape Hatteras National Seashore (@CapeHatterasNPS) April 16, 2017
Officials warn visitors to check rip current forecasts and swimming safety information before entering the Atlantic Ocean. Rip current information can be found on the National Weather Service website here and here.