Two Wayne County teens were caught in a rip current Saturday off Emerald Isle. One is in critical condition and one is still missing.
The U.S. Coast Guard, Emerald Isle police, fire and EMS were searching for a 17-year-old who went missing while swimming near Emerald Isle. But around 3:25 p.m. Sunday the Coast Guard said it was suspending its nautical search for the teen.
Emerald Isle Police Chief James A. Reese said in a news release Sunday that crews had been working overnight and into Sunday morning searching for two swimmers reported missing Saturday at about 6:08 p.m. The teens were reportedly caught in a rip current while swimming off Emerald Isle, near the 7900 block of the beach.
The male swimmers were not identified except by their ages – 16 and 17. A surfer found the 16-year-old and lifeguards brought him to shore where “life saving measures were started by first responders,” according to the news release.
He was taken to Carteret Health Care and then airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he was in critical condition Sunday morning.
The second swimmer, a 17-year-old, still was missing as of about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the young man,” said Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 2nd Class Lance Sobel in a news release. “Making the choice to suspend a search is never an easy choice and one the Coast Guard doesn’t take lightly.”
The Coast Guard used a 24-foot special purpose craft - shallow water (SPC-SW) crew from Emerald Isle, a 29-foot response boat small crew from Fort Macon, an 87-foot patrol boat from Virginia and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City to search for the teen during a 25-hour span. Emerald Isle Police and Fire crews are searching the shoreline.
Emerald Isle Police did not release the names of the swimmers at the request of the families. Both of the swimmers are from the Wayne County area and were visiting Emerald Isle on a day trip, according to police.
No other information was immediately available.