UPDATED: Local photographer captures dramatic ocean rescue in Nags Head

Look at the size of the waves pummeling them as they tried to make it to shore. Nags Head, NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

Hurricanes Humberto and Jerry have brought a week of high surf, rip currents and rough seas to the Outer Banks, with red “No Swimming” flags flying on the beaches every day.

Local photographer Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan of CJ Newlife Photography was at Jennette’s Pier Friday shooting surfing photos when she captured on camera just why you should stay out of the ocean on red flag days.

“I wasn’t sure what all I captured – I just kept shooting and praying!” Sarfan said. She said she hopes the photos will save lives, and shine a spotlight on local rescue teams.

Austin Fallon, the Nags Head Ocean Rescue lifeguard in the photos, risked his own life to save the unidentified man.

“Austin is a really good man and we really thank God that Austin was able to help this man in need,” said his sister Meredythe.

Rescue in progress at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head today.
By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

I looked down and noticed these two men who just seemed to be hanging out down there. Then I realized this was a rescue in progress! By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Incredibly rough seas kept swallowing them both.  By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Look at the size of the waves pummeling them as they tried to make it to shore. Nags Head, NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Enormous frothy waves kept coming over them. Rescue in Nags Head, NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

It looked like they were devising a strategy. The man appeared to remain quite calm throughout the ordeal (big plus for the rescuer). By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Going under again. So frightening to watch. Nags Head NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Looks like the rescuer is trying to drag him backwards to shore now. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Such rough seas in Nags Head NC today. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

This shows how close to shore they are (or how far!) but the tide was not letting them get there. And the waves keep coming at them. Nags Head NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

A surfer arrives with a board – yay! Rescue in Nags Head today. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Helping him get on the board. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Great job getting a board out to him. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Still struggling in the rough waters under Jennette’s Pier but looking like things might end well, eventually. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Coming out the other side of the pier where the water was not as rough, but still quite challenging. Nags Head, NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Water not quite as frothy now and heading to shore. Nags Head NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

This is what a real hero looks like in action! Nags Head NC. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Another lifeguard heads out to assist. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Finally able to stand up and get to safety! By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

 

Almost on dry land! Hallelujah! That was teamwork!! Nags Head N.C. rescue finale. By Cyndi Goetcheus Sarfan

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About Kari Pugh 1074 Articles
Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com