News Release

Heroic rescue by local citizen highlights need to avoid rip currents and stay out of the water when rip current risks are elevated

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Date: May 16, 2020
Contact: Mike Barber, 252-475-9032

Dare County resident, Jeffrey Del Monte, performed a heroic ocean rescue of two children yesterday in Frisco, North Carolina. The incident highlights the need for all beach visitors to respect the power of the ocean.

Late yesterday afternoon, 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. 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. 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.

“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 is also thankful for the long-standing services of Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue and Hatteras Island Rescue Squad. Both organizations and their dedicated staff regularly patrol seashore 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. If you find yourself caught in a rip current, don’t swim against the current. Learn more at www.lovethebeachrespecttheocean.com.

As of this evening, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Outer Banks region through Monday afternoon. In addition to tropical storm force winds potentially arriving as early as tomorrow evening, there will be an enhanced risk for life-threatening rip currents starting tomorrow and continuing through early next week.

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

Graphic showing your options if caught in a rip current.



Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954

Phone:

(252) 473-2111

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