Local News

21-year-old caught in Atlantic Beach rip current dies

Posted June 19
Updated June 20

With summer approaching, crowds will soon be flocking to the North Carolina coast, and while they may expect the beaches to be wide and sandy, nature often has other ideas.

— A 21-year-old man has died at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville after being caught in a rip current Sunday morning, according to Atlantic Beach officials.

Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder announced the man's death on Monday, less than 24 hours after the incident occurred.

Officials said Sunday that five people from Greenville were swimming on the west end of Atlantic Beach, near the Doubletree Hotel, around 11 a.m. when first responders were called. When fire rescue personnel arrived, all five people were out of the water and in the sand.

Emergency crews performed CPR on the 21-year-old victim before transporting him to Carteret General Hospital and then airlifting him to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. A 19-year-old female was also taken to the hospital after inhaling water but is expected to make a full recovery.

Sunday's rip current incident involving swimmers was the second at Atlantic Beach over the weekend.

A 56-year-old man died Saturday after entering the water to help two teenage girls who had gotten caught in a rip current and were screaming in the water.

Last weekend, a 17-year-old from Wayne County died after going missing while swimming at Emerald Isle. A 16-year-old involved in that incident was brought to shore by a surfer.


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  • Marie Brandsdorfer Jun 19, 8:55 p.m.
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    Prayers for their families.

  • Sara Hauser Jun 19, 4:17 p.m.
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    Red flags at Pine Knoll Shores too. No one in our in the water today. It is just not safe.

  • Stacie Hagwood Jun 19, 4:09 p.m.
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    Not sure about Atlantic Beach, but at Emerald Isle there are red flags all over the place. And thankfully, we haven't seen anyone in the surf over their ankles.

  • Marcia Maloney Jun 19, 2:56 p.m.
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    People should be aware of the waters and how dangerous they can be. It doesn't matter how good of a swimmer you are, the rip current is much stronger and faster. Everyone needs to make a better judgment before putting others at risk. If the tides are rough, you know not to go in.

  • Clarence Drumgoole Jun 19, 1:07 p.m.
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    Now this stuff is real. No fake news here! Condolence to the Family.