Two people dead in apparent drownings in Oak Island

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Two people died in Oak Island on Wednesday in an apparent drowning.

According to Oak Island Water Rescue, around 1:30 pm on Wednesday, three members of the same family got into trouble in the water near the pier on Trott Street.

Bystanders retrieved two of them, one was alive and one was dead. The third person’s body was found three hours later.

Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young said the victims were caught in rip currents and the bystander took a risk to help them.

“If you’re going to help somebody that’s caught in a rip current, you have to take floatation with you so that you don’t become a victim yourself,” Young said. “We had a double tragedy today it could have easily been a triple tragedy.”

The Town of Oak Island said members of the police department were first to arrive on the scene and found a 50-year-old man unconscious and in cardiac arrest. They tried to resuscitate the man, but the attempts were unsuccessful and he died.

A search immediately began for the missing 28-year-old. Around 4 pm, his body was found in the area.

Chief Young says yellow flags were out on Wednesday, meaning it’s not advised to get in the water further than knee-deep.

“I wish we could tell everybody as they come across the bridge, here’s what the conditions are today and here’s what you should do or not do, but we just can’t do that,” Young said. “We did our best today…and there was just nothing else we could do.”

As a storm brews in the Atlantic, rip currents are only expected to get worse through the week and into the weekend.

“Even if you don’t know the rip current conditions and you look at it and it looks ugly, then take that as your warning. The ocean’s trying to tell you not to go,” Young said.

Names of the victims have not been released as the family is still being notified. The condition of the third person involved is unknown.

For daily updates on the conditions in Oak Island, visit Oak Island Water Rescue’s website.

Download the WWAY Stormtrack 3 Weather App for the latest on water conditions around the Cape Fear and updates on storms that could potentially impact our coast.

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