A man pulled from the water at Wrightsville Beach died on Saturday as first responders were unable to revive the man after several minutes of CPR.
Wrightsville Beach Fire Chief Glen Rogers said the man was pronounced dead in the ambulance after emergency responders moved the man from the beach on the bed of a ocean rescue truck. Responders continued to perform CPR on the man on the bed of the truck.
Rogers said that the man had swam out past the shore break, giving lifeguards a long swim to reach the man after they saw that he was in trouble.
Before the somber silence of hundreds onlookers, responders from both Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue and the fire department performed CPR on the man for several minutes, before moving him at about 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 21. The man was pulled from the ocean near the Henderson Street public beach access.
Rogers said that until a medical examiner’s report is conducted, emergency responders can’t label the death as a drowning, as other medical issues could have contributed.
When lifeguards reached the man, the man was unresponsive, creating a “passive victim” rescue situation. Lifeguards performed mouth-to-mouth on the man while he was still in the water before moving him to the beach, Rogers said.
As responders worked on the man, police asked the crowd to move back as family members of the man huddled near the rescue efforts. Several dozen formed a prayer circle while others watched in silence.