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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The family of a teenager who drowned at Carolina Beach two years ago is suing the town and the top emergency workers at the time of his death.

Geoffrey Okinyi Onguti of Raleigh died June 26, 2011, after a raft he and some friends were on overturned near the beach access at Harper Street.

The lawsuit claims that due to weather that day, then Ocean Rescue Director Alicia Lachance, who was off duty, director her assistant Elliott Bass to send lifeguards home. As a result, the suit claims, when the storm was over and Onguti and his friends returned to the beach, there were not enough lifeguards or warnings about rip currents.

The suit also questions the qualifications of Lachance and Bass. It also alleged Lachance and then Carolina Beach Police Chief William Younginer, who is also named in the suit, were having an affair when Lachance was hired, and that Younginer knew Lachance was not qualified for the job.

The family is asking for damages of at least $10,000.

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18 Comments on "Family sues Carolina Beach over 2011 drowning"

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gmark
2016 years 2 months ago

“The lawsuit claims that due to weather that day, then Ocean Rescue Director Alicia Lachance, who was off duty, director her assistant Elliott Bass to send lifeguards home.”

What is this supposed to mean?

Guest
Guesttoo
2016 years 2 months ago

Newspaper says this kid was 19, he and his buddies didn’t know how to swim and one of the reasons that Carolina Beach was chosen was because there were lifeguards. But, the lawsuit also says that there were no lifeguards after a storm. Why go into the ocean when there were no lifeguards if their presence was a prerequisite?

Then the stretch that this person drowned because the allegedly unqualified Ocean Rescue Director was allegedly having an affair with the Police Chief really says a lot about the quality of the legal representation.

Maybe they can sue the float maker for making… Read more »

Guest
frank
2016 years 2 months ago

Topsail dont have lifeguards so if I go drown can my family have a law suit wtf idiots

Guest
NCNATIVE
2016 years 2 months ago

Funny his obituary admits he couldn’t swim. Google it!

Guest
Guest2264
2016 years 2 months ago

First of all, I’m sorry for the family for the loss of your son.

However, having lived at CB all of my life (50+) years….

If you don’t know how to swim, wear a life jacket if you wish to enjoy the water! So what, people will know you can’t swim, but at least you’ll float! A raft or inner tube is not a safety device, it is meant for fun for those who know how to swim. At all of the parking areas I see there, all are marked with caution signs about rip currents. The… Read more »

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