Rip currents kill 4 in North Carolina

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July 22 (UPI) — Four people drowned in rip currents during the past three days off North Carolina beaches.

Two of the people who drowned died while trying to save others, The News & Observer reported.

The first incident occurred on Thursday, when 32-year-old Kenny Ray Gooch drowned while trying to save his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son in Powell’s Point, N.C.

The boy was swimming with two other youths, ages 19 and 14, when a strong current pulled all three more than 75 yards out into the ocean, WVEC reported. Gooch jumped in to try to save the 12-year-old, but was pulled out past the boy and drowned. Two bystanders also helped out and were able to save the three youths.

Gooch was later recovered by rescue workers, who attempted CPR, but he was unresponsive.

In Brunswick County, N.C., two people drowned in separate incidents.

On Saturday morning, a 40-year-old man died while trying to save another swimmer. The swimmer is expected to survive the incident.

That same day, a lifeguard on Wrightsville Beach noticed a man in distress in the ocean. But by the time lifeguards were able to reach him, he was no longer breathing, The Star News reported.

Wrightsville Beach Fire Chief Glen Rogers said the man’s family was with him at the beach when he died.

Also on Saturday at Holden Beach, 20-year-old Patryck A. Bass got caught in a rip current when a 24-year-old Good Samaritan Patrick Balsano tried to rescue him. Balsano was able to pull Bass back to shore, but the Bass was unresponsive and rescue efforts failed to revive him.


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