The town manager for Emerald Isle is advising the public to avoid going into the Atlantic Ocean until further notice as a red flag advisory is still in effect. The red flag warnings will remain in effect until ocean conditions improve.
The National Weather Service said a high rip current risk will be in effect for Thursday as well.
Emerald Isle Fire Department and Lifeguard staff will continue to monitor ocean conditions throughout the day.
On Wednesday, Troy Everette Strickland, 41, of Scotchburg, Virginia, died after trying to save someone's life after they became stuck in the Atlantic's dangerous rip current. Strickland was able to save the woman but drowned after his life-saving effort.
Strickland had been vacationing in Emerald Isle all week. Strickland's wife said her husband went into the water to help someone in distress.
"The entire Town of Emerald Isle organization extends its deepest sympathy to Mr. Strickland's wife, family, and friends, and offers heartfelt prayers as they heal from this tragedy," town officials said in a release.
In addition, lifeguards and the fire department have responded to six different water rescues involving 20 different people.
Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush told ABC11 that emergency officials don't put out red flag warnings lightly. "People put themselves at risk, and the lives of our rescuers at risk, heed the warnings," Rush said.
IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT:
- Don't fight the current
- Swim out of the current, then to shore
- If you can't escape, float or tread water
- If you need help, call or wave for assistance
- Know how to swim
- Never swim alone
- If in doubt, don't go out
For current National Weather Service rip current forecasts, and an informative video about rip currents, click here.