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Woman drowns in Emerald Isle, adding to string of rip current deaths on NC coast

A woman from Kentucky drowned Sunday in Emerald Isle, according to officials.

Posted Updated

Jessica Patrick
, WRAL.com editor
EMERALD ISLE, N.C. — A woman from Kentucky drowned Sunday while on vacation in Emerald Isle, according to officials.

In a Facebook post, the Town of Emerald Isle stated that Donna Sue Miller, 49, became caught in a rip current with her friend and her friend's 9-year-old daughter.

According to the post, the three were swimming near The Islander Hotel around 7 p.m. when the drowning occured. Officials say Miller was found facedown in the water and was carried to the shore by onlookers. The others made it safely to shore.

"All of us at the Town of Emerald Isle are saddened by this tragedy, and offer our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Miller's family and friends," the post read. "We offer our heartfelt prayers for healing and understanding during this difficult time."

At least eight people have drowned in the ocean off of North Carolina this year, including two in June.

Officials caution swimmers to avoid the water during rough surf warnings, but even calm waters can be dangerous.

"Although Emerald Isle experienced dangerous ocean conditions over an 11-day period in late July, ocean conditions were relatively calm in Emerald Isle all weekend, including Sunday," officials posted.

Experts say rip currents can form and disappear quickly. Rip currents are often most dangerous one or two hours before low tide.

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