North Carolina

Man who drowned during surge of rescues off NC beach was ‘respected’ biology teacher

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.

The man who drowned Sunday amidst a surge of ocean rescues off Pine Knoll Shores has been identified as 38-year-old school teacher Ernest Earl Foster, Jr.

Town officials released his name Tuesday and said Foster was raised in Wilson County, east of Raleigh, and was “a well-respected high school teacher in Guilford County.”

“The Town’s thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and students,” the post said.

The Guilford County Schools list Foster as a biology teacher at Smith High School in Greensboro.

Foster died around 3 p.m. Sunday, as Pine Knoll Shores emergency response units were trying to save multiple people off Memorial Park beach, the town reported on Facebook.

Two bystanders helped save three children in the water, the post said, but Foster “could not be located and a search ensued.”

“After several minutes of searching, the male patient was located and removed from the water,” officials said.

CPR was performed with no success, according to the post.

The three children were hospitalized and listed “in good condition” Sunday, town officials said. TV station WSOC reports the three kids were Foster’s children. Town officials have not said if they have been released from the hospital.

There have been more than a half dozen water-related deaths off N.C. beaches this season, many involving people who got caught in deadly rip currents that pulled the swimmers from shore.

Pine Knoll Shores officials say the town’s beaches were flying red flags at the time of Foster’s death, “indicating a high rip current risk.”

Twenty people were rescued from rip currents off Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach on Memorial Day, according to WTVD.

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