Local man rescues children from ocean near Ramp 49 in Frisco

Published 8:43 am Sunday, May 17, 2020

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Cape Hatteras National Seashore has reported the ocean rescue of two children by a Dare County resident, stating the “incident highlights the need for all beach visitors to respect the power of the ocean.”

Late Friday afternoon, May 15, Jeffrey Del Monte, along with his wife and friend, were driving an off-road vehicle on the beach near Ramp 49 in Frisco when they heard screams of children and panic on the beach, according to information released Saturday night by CHNS.

“As they surveyed the water trying to locate the screams, two young girls were spotted apparently struggling while being swept out in a rip current. Jeffrey swam out and retrieved the first of two girls and passed her to his friend for a lengthy swim back to shore,” stated the release. “Jeffrey then searched the surface of the water for the second young girl and found her in distress. Del Monte bravely brought the child to the beach from nearly 100 yards out. After both girls were safely on the beach, Jeffrey and his friend tended to them until Dare County Emergency Medical Services and a Cape Hatteras National Seashore Ranger arrived on scene.”

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“Jeffrey Del Monte’s heroic, selfless and prompt actions were critical to saving these two girls from a very dangerous situation,” stated National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “I am thankful for his courage and expertise which allowed him to perform this successful ocean rescue.”

Cape Hatteras National Seashore also expressed thanks for the long-standing services of Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue and Hatteras Island Rescue Squad. The staff of both organizations patrol CHNS beaches and perform ocean rescues throughout the year.

“A perfect day on the beach doesn’t always mean that it’s a perfect day in the ocean, so it is critically important that all visitors check the beach forecast for hazards and rip currents before heading to the beach and always use something that floats when in the water,” stated the release. “If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t swim against the current. Learn more at www.lovethebeachrespecttheocean.com.”

As of Sunday morning, a tropical storm warning has been issued for the Outer Banks region through Monday afternoon. In addition to tropical storm force winds, there will be an enhanced risk for life-threatening rip currents.

“Beach visitors should use extreme caution in and near the ocean and stay out of the water while rip current risks are elevated,” advised CHNS.



Updated guidance for COVID-19 testing in North Carolina issued Friday

Outer Banks open to visitors; COVID-19 restrictions still in place