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Maryland man drowns off Ocracoke Island

Posted August 9, 2010

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— A Maryland man got caught in a rip current Saturday afternoon and drowned off the southern end of Ocracoke Island, authorities said Monday.

John Wolf, 51, of Woodbine, Md., was vacationing with his family, and all four members were caught in the rip current at about 4 p.m. Saturday, authorities said.

Three family members made it safely to shore, but bystanders had to pull Wolf from the surf, authorities said. Efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The National Weather Service issued an alert Saturday afternoon for Ocracoke beaches and surrounding areas for a high threat of rip currents and undertow from Tropical Storm Colin, which was churning in the Atlantic Ocean far offshore. The advisory remains in effect until Monday evening.

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  • KevInApex Aug 9, 2010

    Very sad. At Topsail island last year a couple guys got caught in a rip current in an area my family had just been swimming in. Thankfully they both made it back but one of them was so exhuasted that he laid on the beach 1/2 hour before he could get back up.

  • colliedave Aug 9, 2010

    this is tragic but warnings about rip currents were posted

  • oceanchild71 Aug 9, 2010

    Yes, a life vest can help you in many situations. However, people need to learn to read the surf and heed the warnings. It has been a news story that Colin would be heading up the coast and we would feel its effects. Also, I would imagine that the water was very churned up. If the water is churned up, I don't let my kids in unless one of us is there and even then they have to wear their lifejackets and only up to their knees.

    I was caught in a rip tide as a kid on a day when there were no warnings or anything. I guess the sandbar just couldn't stay together any more and three of us went out. Luckily, all 3 of us (me and a friend, both about 11 and my brother who was about 4) came back thanks to the 2 boogie boards we had.
    But if the water is churned up and the waves are rough, you should not be out there swimming even with a life jacket. You put not only your life in danger, but those who would try to rescue you.

    Learn to read the beaches and the surf!

  • Tom Morrow Aug 9, 2010

    Rip currents are no joke. I was in Delaware last July 2009 and got caught in one, and I swam parallel to shore like they say, and I looked up, exhausted, and I was a LONG way from shore. It took everything I had to get back and I have not been in the ocean since.

  • silverflash Aug 9, 2010

    this is really a shame! and it could have been prevented if he was wearing a life preserver. I swim ok, and ALWAYS wear a life vest if going in water past my thighs. Better safe than sorry.

    thoughts and prayers go out to his family and if anybody is reading this and about to head to a beach to swim, wear a life vest!!!