North Carolina

‘He didn’t have a heartbeat.’ Coast Guard saves drowning man swimming off NC beach

Two Coast Guardsmen came to the rescue after hearing cries for help coming from the water on a North Carolina beach Monday night.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Forrest Jones and fireman Kyle Boeckmann were at the Coast Guard Station on Wrightsville Beach around 8:30 p.m. when they heard the cries, and they ran down the beach with a life ring, according to the Coast Guard.

When they got to the water, they found a man drowning 20 yards off the shore and a group of people trying to help him, the Coast Guard said.

They were able to rescue the man, who was unresponsive when they got to him but regained consciousness after about five minutes of CPR, the Coast Guard said.

“When we showed up, he didn’t have a heartbeat and wasn’t breathing,” Jones said in a news release. “By the time we left, he was standing upright. It makes me feel good knowing we were able to help him.”

The Ocean Rescue Squad and Wrightsville Beach Police Department also responded.

“This situation could have gone very differently if we weren’t in the right place at the right time,” Boeckmann said. “Fortunately, we also have the first aid training we needed to help.”

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.