Local News

Man drowns in heavy surf off N.C. beach

Posted September 1, 2008
Updated September 2, 2008

— A man drowned Sunday in heavy surf off a North Carolina beach, and dozens of others had to be rescued from dangerous rip currents, authorities said.

Michael Jerome Smith, 46, of Rocky Point, was pulled from the ocean Sunday afternoon on an unguarded stretch of beach at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area.

Hurricane Hanna has been kicking up heavy surf and rip currents along the southeastern coast of North Carolina. Lifeguards rescued about 40 people Sunday at Wrightsville and Carolina beaches, authorities said.

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  • StinkChee Sep 2, 2008

    They had the No Swimming signs out in Nags Head yesterday. The surf was way up and the waves were crashing hard. We scrapped our plans for a beach day and went miniture golfing instead.

  • smeade1 Sep 2, 2008

    My daughter is supposed to go down this weekend for her b/day. NO WAY! I told her I'd give her $100 deposit back to her not to go!

  • dianadarling Sep 2, 2008

    The current was awful there yesterday. even the people with surfboards were sitting on the sand just watching it. There were 3 guards per stand near the pier. I can't imagine trying to go in and get someone there!

  • Carolina Conservative Sep 2, 2008

    A friend and I were sucked out on body boards by rip currents at Ft. Fisher a few years ago. We were out for about 45 minutes and finally reached shore down at the point. There was a lifeguard present but he was too busy talking with the girls to notice a couple of middle age guys struggling in the water. The beach there is very steep and condusive to rip currents. Very scary. I love the area but do not take my family there any more for beach outings.

  • viking416 Sep 2, 2008

    The beach at Fort Fisher is pretty popular and used to have lifeguards there. I was there last weekend and they don't even have the lifeguard station anymore. They do have people driving up and down the beach looking for beer and unleashed dogs....maybe they should put the lifeguard station back?

  • ncguy Sep 2, 2008

    It amazes me how this happens all the time! We watch our children and won't let them go out past the knees but adults think they are immune to rip currents?

    A little common sense people!