UPDATE: Tourist drowns while helping rescue other swimmers

BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — A man is dead after he fought the current off Bald Head Island trying to help others and drowned.

Kevin Scott Roberts, 43, of Mt. Lookout, WV, drowned Monday after being caught by a strong current off Bald Head Island. Roberts was among five people that tried to save three swimmers that were struggling off the east end.

“We were able to launch our craft from the beach and respond very quickly, and as a result we were able to rescue seven people from the water,” Village of Bald Head Island spokeswoman Karen Ellison.

Crews found Roberts an hour later. He was pronounced dead in Southport.

Officials on Bald Head Island say warning signs are posted across the island advising visitors of the danger of rip currents and tides, which may have been affected by the full moon Monday.

“It’s important while on all of our beaches, whether it’s here on Bald Head Island or on any other beaches in this area, that people remain cautious and know their surroundings and always be aware of what the ocean is doing.”

The drowning raises question about the need for lifeguards on the beach. Ellison says because the beaches are state-maintained the decision is out of the village’s hands.

Officials say this may serve as a reminder to be aware of the conditions and respectful of the ocean.

Ellison says Roberts’ family left the island monday night after the accident.

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