FRISCO, N.C. (WAVY) — Two 55-year-old men died Wednesday in separate incidents while swimming in the ocean off Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
These mark the second and third deaths of the year off the seashore, and the third this week.
A 79-year-old man was pronounced dead after he was found floating in the ocean on Sunday.
Officials with Cape Hatteras National Seashore said the first situation on Wednesday happened around 10 a.m. That man was visiting from Benson, North Carolina, at the time.
He was reportedly seen 50 yards from beach, on a small sandbar to the south.
A bystander who heard his family’s call for help went into the ocean and tried to rescue the man, officials said.
The man was swept away from the sandbar before the bystander could reach. Officials said it may have been a rip current that pulled him away.
The bystander was eventually able to bring the man back to the beach once his body washed closer to the shore — where another bystander attempted compression CPR.
The second incident happened around 4:45 p.m. on Ocracoke Island near Ramp 70.
Officials say that man, who was visiting from North Brookfield, Massachusetts, was found floating three feet from the shore after a family member called for help. Officials say he wasn’t wearing a floatation device.
The man was brought on the beach and CPR was administered by a bystander, but it was unsuccessful.
“Today has been a very hard day at Cape Hatteras National Seashore,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “Our staff offer our sincere condolences for the loss of two visitors. We urge everyone to be very careful when swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.”
There were seven swimming-related fatalities in this area last year and eight in 2016.