Virginia man dies in apparent drowning at Cape Hatteras National Seashore

The northern entrance to Cape Hatteras National Seashore at Whalebone Junction in Nags Head. [Sam Walker photo]

A 46-year-old Northern Virginia man died in an apparent drowning at the south end of Hatteras Island Friday evening.

At 9:34 p.m. May 28, a visitor reported finding a body floating in ocean water at the end of Pole Road, located at the south end of Hatteras Island, the National Park Service said in an news release.

Two seashore rangers, Dare County Emergency Medical Services and Hatteras Island Rescue Squad responded to the incident.

Family members of the victim from Falls Church, Virginia said he was surf fishing prior to the incident. Ocean conditions in the area were reported to be rough.

The park service did not release the victim’s name.

The summer season is just getting underway on the Outer Banks, which is known for its rip currents and rough surf conditions. Rip currents are so common and strong along the Outer Banks that NOAA launched a national rip current forecast model based on testing on the Outer Banks.

Each year, several people die in rough ocean conditions here. Local authorities remind visitors to “Love the Beach, Respect the Ocean.” Always swim where there are lifeguards and always take a flotation device into the water with you.

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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