Northern Va. man dies in ocean off Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore entrance at Whalebone Junction.

A 61-year-old man from Fairfax County, Virginia, died Sunday evening in the Atlantic Ocean near Hatteras Village, perhaps the first U.S. death related to Hurricane Dorian.

Authorities received the 911 call at 5:25 p.m. when a beachgoer saw a swimmer in apparent distress and attempted to rescue him, Cape Hatteras National Seashore said in a news release.

The bystander brought man, from Oak Hill, Virginia, to shore, where he was met by rescue personnel, who attempted CPR. The lifesaving attempts were unsuccessful and the man died, the release said.

A high risk of rip currents was forecast for most of the beaches along the Outer Banks Sunday due to increased swells from Hurricane Dorian. The victim was not using a flotation device.

National Park Service Rangers, Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue, Dare County Emergency Medical Services, and Dare County Sheriff Officers responded to the incident.

The incident is the third water-related fatality along the Outer Banks this year. On May 26, a 68-year-old Blacksburg man suffered a cardiac emergency and died after being caught in a rip current in Southern Shores. And on June 10, a 53-year-old Ohio man died Monday after possibly being caught in a rip current in the Atlantic Ocean near Buxton.

Another man, a 60-year-old Raleigh resident, remains missing after going for a swim near Oregon Inlet in early July.

Last year, there were five fatalities at the seashore; seven in 2017 and eight in 2016. Along the Outer Banks last year, a total of nine people lost their lives in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at