Lifeguards urge beachgoers to practice safety after recent concerns


EMERALD ISLE, Carteret County - The recent incident last weekend where one teenager died and one was seriously injured have lifeguards at Emerald Isle on high alert.

Elijah Hinnant, 17, of Goldsboro, died when a rip current pulled him under water. He died from the incident. Tyreese Worsley, 16, also from Goldsboro, is still listed in serious condition at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

According to lifeguards at Emerald Isle, they have rescued around 40 people in the last five days alone, making that between 8-10 rescues per day. The lifeguards say many people get caught in the currents and don't know what to do. They also said it's critical to stay calm and swim parallel to the shore.

"I hope that people know their abilities and don't solely rely on the lifeguard," Ben Jackson, a lifeguard, said. "We are going to do our job the best we can and we are going to help everybody but public education and knowing your limits is a big part of coming to an environment like the beach."

The lifeguards in Emerald Isle get 80 hours of training total and perform daily rescue drills. They say the best way to stay safe is know your limits and don't' push them.

Lifeguards say children are the most at risk for getting pulled into a rip current. Parents should keep a close eye. They also recommend going in the water near a lifeguard stand if you are still nervous.

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