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Four rescued off Emerald Isle beach Sunday. One is in critical condition, NC cops say

How to survive if you get caught in a rip current

Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water. Rip currents account for 80% of beach rescues, and can be dangerous if you don't know what to do. This video from NOAA Ocean Today shows you how to break the grip of the rip.
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Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water. Rip currents account for 80% of beach rescues, and can be dangerous if you don't know what to do. This video from NOAA Ocean Today shows you how to break the grip of the rip.

A man was in serious condition after being rescued from the water on Emerald Isle on Sunday afternoon, media outlets report.

The Emerald Isle Fire Department received a call around 2 p.m. about swimmers needing assistance, WNCT reported.

When emergency crews arrived, surfers had pulled four people from the water, according to WITN. Officials performed CPR on one of the swimmers, a 48-year-old man from Jacksonville, North Carolina, WITN said.

He was identified Monday as Robert Patterson Jr., according to WITN. Patterson remained in critical condition Monday at Carteret Health Care, WCTI reported.

Emerald Isle Fire Chief Bill Walker told WCTI that the surfers were in the process of returning three struggling swimmers to shore when they heard the 48-year-old man “yelling for help.” A surfer jumped in to rescue the man, who was unconscious when emergency personnel began performing life-saving measures, the station reported.

Emerald Isle Police Chief Tony Reese told the Carteret County News-Times that Patterson “was breathing and had a pulse” when he arrived at Carteret Health Care in Morehead City.

The Emerald Isle Police Department posted a yellow flag status on Facebook on Sunday morning for the beach.

Yellow flags indicate a moderate hazard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

“In Emerald Isle, even the calmest of days on the beach can pose an inherent risk when entering the ocean and the public is always advised to use caution,” the post read.

Six people have drowned so far this season off North Carolina beaches, including a man and 5-year-old boy who drowned last week in Atlantic Beach, after getting caught in a rip current.

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