Police, who Tuesday identified a 17-year-old boy who died after being caught in a rip current and a 16-year-old who was rescued but injured, said they were told neither was a strong swimmer.
The youth who died was Elijah Hinnant of Goldsboro, Police Chief Tony Reese said at a news conference.
Hinnant’s body was recovered shortly after police, fire and EMS units were sent to a section of the beach where something had been seen bobbing about 1,500 meters offshore shortly before 7 a.m. Tuesday, police said in a statement.
Reese also identified the 16-year-old as Tyreese Worsley of Goldsboro and said he was in critical condition Tuesday at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he was taken by helicopter after a surfer rescued him.
The youths were in the water off the 7900 block of Ocean Drive, near the Bogue Inlet Fishing Pier, on Saturday when they were caught in the rip current and disappeared shortly after 6 p.m., police said.
Hinnant’s body was recovered in the 7700 block, police said.
The U.S. Coast Guard and local authorities had searched for Hinnant until Sunday afternoon.
Police did not say if Hinnant drowned or suffered some other injury, and they did not describe Worsley’s injuries.
“According to information received from the family, neither of the young men were strong swimmers,” police said in the statement Tuesday.
“The Town of Emerald Isle would like to convey our deepest condolences to Elijah’s family for their loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both these young men, and our staff will remain available to the families to answer questions and provide any support we can to help them through this tragedy,” the statement added.