North Carolina

Man drowns in rough surf off North Carolina beach, police say

A man drowned off a North Carolina beach Wednesday afternoon, according to multiple news reports.

Police on Topsail Island said 62-year-old Jerry Thompson was pulled from the water by a bystander at about 4:30 p.m., according to WCTI.

A witness said he pulled Thompson from the waves after seeing him disappear under the water, WCTI reported.

Topsail Beach Police Chief Sam Gervase said rip currents in the area Wednesday afternoon could have played a role in the drowning, WITN reports. Police said they are looking into any health conditions the man might have had, according to the station.

“We don’t know if it was a heart attack, a stroke, he fell and hit his head, under current, we really honestly do not know the cause of it, we just know he was found in the surf,” Gervase said, according to WECT.

The drowning happened near Ocean Access Three in Topsail, WECT reports.

National Weather Service forecasters in Wilmington have been warning of rip currents and rough conditions this week.

The Town of Topsail Island said Thursday, “Please be aware of the strong and dangerous rip currents we are experiencing in our area due to Hurricane Humberto passing off our coast. Please stay safe.”

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.