BUXTON, N.C. (WAVY) — An Ohio man died Monday while swimming in rough waters off Cape Hatteras National Seashore near Buxton.
The 53-year-old man from Bellbrook, Ohio, was swimming just less than a mile north of the former Cape Hatteras Lighthouse when he was brought back to shore by a family member just before noon, according to a press release from park officials.
Bystanders performed CPR, but it was unsuccessful.
Park officials say there was a high risk of rip currents at the Seashore’s beaches on Monday and the man was not wearing a flotation device. They say the man’s official cause of death will be determined by a medical examiner. The National Park Service Rangers, Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue, Buxton Volunteer Fire Department, Dare County Emergency Medical Services and Dare County Sheriff deputies responded to the incident.
“Our staff offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “We urge all visitors to be very careful when swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.”
The man’s death marks the first water-related fatality off the seashore in 2019. Five people died there in 2019, seven in 2017 and eight in 2016.