Rough ocean conditions and rip currents have claimed another life in the North Carolina Outer Banks.
A woman who was rescued with five others from dangerous ocean conditions near Duck on Friday afternoon died on Sunday, the town said in a news release.
The woman was rescued from the beach near the Bayberry Drive access area, the town said. She was unresponsive and flown to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
The woman had not been identified as of Tuesday afternoon. None of the others rescued received treatment, the town said.
The National Weather Service issued a high-risk rip current warning on Friday because of expected peak high and low tides — also known as “King Tides” — as well as a long-period swell from the remains of Hurricane Beryl.
The woman is the sixth person to die in the Outer Banks this year while swimming in the ocean during rough surf or with a risk of strong rip currents. All of the previous deaths had been men near 50 or older.
A 4-year-old boy died in April after being swept away by a wave while walking on the beach with his mother.
North Carolina has had at least 55 recorded rip current deaths since 1996, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The U.S. Lifesaving Association estimates nearly 100 people die in rip currents each year in the United States.
On June 13, 10 people were rescued in rip current-related incidents in two hours, according to Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue. Fifteen others were rescued by North Myrtle Beach Ocean Rescue in South Carolina, according to the rescue group.
Rip currents accounted for more than 80 percent of the 84,900 rescues that lifeguards made in 2016. For beach forecasts, go to www.weather.gov/beach/mhx.
If you get caught in a rip current, NOAA and the American Red Cross recommend you:
▪ Remain calm to conserve energy, and don’t fight against the current.
▪ Think of it as a treadmill that cannot be turned off and that you need to step to the side of.
▪ Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle – away from the current – toward shore.
▪ Float or calmly tread water If you are unable to swim out of the rip current. When out of the current, swim toward shore.
▪ Wave your arms or yell for help to draw attention to yourself, if you are still unable to reach shore.