Local

'Our worst nightmare': 4-year-old boy swept away by wave while walking on OBX beach

Coast Guard searches for boy pulled into ocean by wave on NC Outer Banks

A Coast Guard helicopter assists with the search for a missing 4-year-old boy off Kitty Hawk on April 25, 2018. The child was walking with his mother on the beach when a wave knocked him down and pulled him into the rough surf.
Up Next
A Coast Guard helicopter assists with the search for a missing 4-year-old boy off Kitty Hawk on April 25, 2018. The child was walking with his mother on the beach when a wave knocked him down and pulled him into the rough surf.

A 4-year-old boy and his mother were walking on a beach in Kitty Hawk when a wave hit the boy and swept him out to sea on Wednesday afternoon, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard out of Wilmington and other emergency responders searched for the missing boy in the water off Lillian Street in Kitty Hawk.

"A tragic accident occurred today in Kitty Hawk," Kitty Hawk Police Chief Joel C. Johnson wrote on Facebook. "Under the watchful eye of the attending parents while walking along the shore, a four year old boy was swept from his mother into the ocean and carried away by the current. As parents, this is our worst nightmare, even for those of us who love and have grown up by the ocean. Please join us in thought and prayer for this family as we mourn with them the loss and give thanks for the well-being of our own children."

An impromptu memorial of shells has been set up at the Lillian Street in Kitty Hawk for the 4-year-old lost in the surf on April 25, 2018. People are encouraged to write messages to the family on the shells with their thoughts and prayers.

A helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City and Coast Guard boats from the Oregon Inlet station also were involved in the search and together combed 130 square miles before suspending the search at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"Suspending a search for anyone, let alone a young child, is the most difficult thing a commanding officer in the Coast Guard is called upon to do," said Capt. Bion Stewart. "I can't imagine what the family of this little boy is going through right now."

The Coast Guard was assisted by Corolla, Dare County and Kill Devil Hills rescue crews.

The boy had not been identified as of about 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

  Comments