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Emerald Isle officials release names of teen who died, teen who survived

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EMERALD ISLE, Carteret County - Underlying the very real safety concerns, as Emerald Isle Police and Fire officials held a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss how a rip current was to blame for the death of a 17-year-old swimmer and the hospitalization of his 16-year-old friend, another water rescue started.

Scanner reports indicated a swimmer struggling off of the East End beach access point in Emerald Isle shortly before noon on Tuesday. In the end, the person involved was rescued and there no injuries. But the incident was just one example of the issues officials are facing.

At the press conference Tuesday, Emerald Isle Police chief James Reese announced the names of the victims from the Saturday drowning. The 17-year-old, whose body was recovered Tuesday morning, was identified as Elijah Hinnant of Goldsboro. The 16-year-old, who remains at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville in critical condition, is Tyreese Worsley, also of Greensboro.

Kelly Yardley, a nurse, described the scene to NewsChannel 12's Merrilee Moore. Yardley said she found Hinnant's body early Tuesday.

"It appeared to be something large floating in the water, bobbing up and down," Yardley said.

She said she called 911 immediately.

"I ran out on the beach and flagged them down to where the location was that I could see visually. And they also looked in the binoculars," Yardley said.

Officials said the two were part of a group of four that were swimming Saturday evening off the Emerald Isle beach strand near the 7700 block. Worsley was located Saturday night, but despite an 18-hour Coast Guard search between Saturday and Sunday, Hinnant was not located.

Officials called the press conference after Hinnant's body was found.

Reese said the rip current dangers are very real.

"The ocean is not like a swimming pool," he said. "People need to be aware of the conditions."

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