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Brunswick County drownings leave people shaken up

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OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Hundreds of people are on the beaches and in the ocean celebrating Independence Day, but Wednesdays drownings still have people pretty shaken up.

Two of three swimmers pulled from the ocean at Sunset Beach Wednesday afternoon have died, including a North Carolina judge.

Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano says a call came in about three people in distress in the water at about 3:13 p.m.

By the time emergency crews arrived, all three were out of the water, but two of the swimmers were unresponsive, Marzano said. All three were taken to the hospital.

Mitchell McLean, 54, was pronounced dead. He served as Chief District Court Judge for the 23rd Judicial District, which includes Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany and Yadkin counties.

Mary Anne Galway, of Waxhaw was airlifted to New Hanover Regional where she was also pronounced dead. A third victim, Galway's husband, was treated and released from the hospital.

In all, three drownings were reported Wednesday in Brunswick County. A 72-year-old man from Florida drowned a few hours earlier just up the coast in Ocean Isle Beach.

People we spoke too Thursday say they are still worried about their children getting in the water.

”We were here yesterday when the gentleman down on the beach drowned. It’s just been scary because the kids go out just knee deep. It’s scary that were here and we don’t have any lifeguards here on Ocean Isle Beach,” said Johann Wheatley.

(Photo courtesy: www.yadkinripple.com)

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