Police Investigating Deaths Of Two People Pulled From Surf Oct. 2nd

Kure Beach ocean rescuers pulled two people from the surf on October 6th. That followed the death of two people days prior. While life guards are largely off the beach following the summer season, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach continue to use limited patrols during the mild off-season period.  (Photo: Mike Gans). Kure Beach ocean rescuers pulled two people from the surf on October 6th. That followed the death of two people days prior. While life guards are largely off the beach following the summer season, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach continue to use limited patrols during the mild off-season period. (Photo: Mike Gans). Photo: Mike Gans via Facebook.

Police Investigating Deaths Of Two People Pulled From Surf Oct. 2nd Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 09 October 2019 19:07

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - Kure Beach Police are investigating the deaths of two people that were pulled from the surf on October 2nd.

The first incident occurred shortly after 10am. Officials with the Kure Beach Police Department, Carolina Beach Police Department, Kure Beach Fire Department and New Hanover Regional EMS were dispatched to the G Avenue Beach Access in reference to a water rescue. Rescue swimmers were able to remove the unresponsive male swimmer from the water and began lifesaving measures which were unsuccessful. The male swimmer died at the scene. The incident is currently under investigation by the Kure Beach Police Department.

Police have identified the person as Devin Adair Harding a 37- year old male from the Winston Salem, NC area.

The second incident occurred at 7pm the same day.

Officials with the Kure Beach Police Department, Carolina Beach Police Department, Kure Beach Fire Department and New Hanover Regional EMS were dispatched to the J Avenue Beach Access in reference to a water rescue. A Kure Beach Fireman and a Kure Beach Police Officer were able to remove the unresponsive male swimmer from the water and began lifesaving measures which were unsuccessful. The male swimmer died at the scene. This incident is currently under investigation by the Kure Beach Police Department.

Police have identified the water rescue victim as Carlos Adrian Quiroga a 50- year old male from the Miami, FL area.

The NC Medical Examiners Office will determine the cause of death.

On October 6th, ‎Mike Gans was on the Kure Beach Pier and witnessed another event where two people were rescued from the surf in Kure Beach by lifeguards.

Gans explained in a post on Facebook, "Two people got caught in a rip current today right beside the pier and were screaming for help. The bald lifeguard swam out past the cleaning station to them, gave them a float and started swimming along the beach to get out of the current. The second lifeguard swam out to the first and towed them in while the first laid on his back and kicked. It was pretty impressive to watch these two risk their own lives to save these people. True Heroes!"

The Kure Beach Police and Fire Departments want to remind people that following the summer season, full lifeguard patrols are no longer on the beach in the capacity they operate during the busy summer season and people should be alert about  their surroundings and especially rip currents.

During a meeting of the Carolina Beach Town Council, Fire Chief Alan Griffin said lifeguards end the season because they are seasonal employees and, "Then we do mainly patrolling based off the weather and the rip currents. This year the weather has been unseasonably warm. We've had to keep guards out on the beach. We look at the October 1st window as usually when we try to terminate the seasonal employment. This year we've had exceptionally bad rips all around us. The Outter Banks. Kure Beach has had some true struggles. At the same time they were having their drownings that day, we were working on multiple rescues, transported a couple of people to the hospital that were near drownings. We chose to keep the guards on and I've got them on through this weekend and then we will evaluate the weather. And when I say I've got them on, it's basically, they are a small group that's in a response mode in a vehicle. It's a struggle when they go back to school. Because they are seasonal this time of the year, they know that any week is there end they are finding winter jobs and things."

He explained, "I've managed to keep a small group on and on the weekends we may have six or eight and they will be in two pickups. It's not the ideal, but it's still better than not having guards out."

He explained the number of people visiting the beach is decreasing due to the cooler weather.

He added that in future budget planning, the Town should consider the fact that more children are enrolled in year rounds schools throughout the State and one of their breaks is typically during the first week of October. He said, "We do see a little influx right around the first of October of a lot of year round students coming in and then a lot of your home schooled kids they pick the shoulder seasons, the parents do. Use to, we didn't see a lot of kids on the beach after Labor Day. We are still in the middle of the week seeing a lot kids running around the beach playing and enjoying themselves. So we want to make sure we are providing that protection as long as the water is in good condition."

How to Identify Rip Currents Look for any of these clues:
• a channel of churning, choppy water
•  an area having a notable difference in water color
• a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward
•  a break in the incoming wave pattern None, one, or more of the above clues may indicate the presence of rip currents. Rip currents are often not readily or easily identifiable to the average beachgoer.

How to Avoid and Survive Rip Currents
• Never swim alone.
• Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don’t go out!
• Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard protected beach.
• Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
• If caught in a rip current, remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
• Don’t fight the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
• If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
• If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself:  face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.
• If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1 . Throw the rip current victim something that floats and yell instructions on how to escape. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

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