CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Multiple agencies continue recovery efforts for 24 year-old Terrance Christopher Miller lost swimming off Carolina Beach.
Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue says Miller was overtaken by a rip current in about 8-10 ft of water just before 5:30 PM Saturday.
Ocean Rescue Captain Simon Sanders says they had eyes on him when he went under. They immediately sent out lifeguards and began rescue efforts.
Sanders says Miller was swimming with two others, they managed to swim ashore and immediately informed lifeguards there was another swimmer struggling in the water.
One of the swimmers with Miller said she felt the rip current pull her and after fighting it for some time, she stopped resisting and was able to regain control.
Miller and the others were swimming in between two lifeguard stands near Texas Avenue.
At 5:42, New Hanover called the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard says they sent out an urgent marine information broadcast and launched units just five minutes later. The sent a 45-foot search boat and a helicopter. The boat arrived around 6:15 and the Helicopter was in the air about an hour after later.
Coast Guard suspended their search a little after dark.
Captain Sanders says Ocean Rescue remained on the beach past 9:00 PM.
Simon says in the nature of this incident and considering the amount of time that has passed, this is no longer a rescue, but a recovery.
The beach remains open as the search continues, but Sanders says he does not advise anyone to get in the water. They are flying a yellow flag and Simon says there is a strong long-shore current. He also says anyone on the beach with questions may feel free to ask a lifeguard or official nearby.