A white male around 40 years old was found unconscious and rescued by Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue just north of Crystal Pier on Saturday, June 7, at approximately 4:30 p.m.
Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Director Dave Baker said the victim was caught in the rough shore break north of the pier and was driven to the sand by a wave directly in front of WBOR stand No. 11.
Immediately, bystanders and WBOR lifeguards noticed the unconscious man. He was found with abrasions on his nose and head with a suspected spinal injury. Baker said the man had a pulse but was not breathing and WBOR had to resuscitate him.
He was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center via ambulance and had a strong pulse by the time he reached the hospital.
Baker said the man appeared to be by himself. He did not know where the man was from.
“If a lifeguard would have been standing right next to him when it happened it would not have turned out any differently,” Baker said. “It is just one of those things where you have to be on your guard and not go beyond your limitations.”
On Wednesday, June 11, Baker said he knew the victim was alive after undergoing surgery at New Hanover Regional Medical Center for a spinal injury. Neither Baker nor staff could release any more information due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations.