Deacon, Husband & Father Of 5 Drowns In Waters Off OBX

A husband and father of five is dead after drowning in the waters off the Outer Banks.

It happened Wednesday afternoon in the town of Duck. Public safety personnel responded to a call for a swimmer in distress off of Poteskeet Drive.

Public safety personnel pulled 39-year-old Joseph Marotta of Lynchburg from the water and immediately began CPR on the beach as Dare County Paramedics arrived on scene. Dare County Paramedics continued CPR but Marotta was pronounced dead around 1:15 p.m.

Marotta was a Deacon at Holy Cross Catholic Church and the controller for Randolph College in Lynchburg.

Church officials tell us he was vacationing with his family.

College President John Klein says, "The Randolph College community is both shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Joe Marotta. Joe was a much-loved member of the Randolph community and will be missed. He had been with the College since February 2012 and was an excellent controller, bringing strong experience and skills to his job. In a short time, he improved our audit, our control of student accounts, our control of assets and many other aspects of his position. Joe most often could be seen on campus with a smile on his face, and we were extremely proud of him in the fall when he was ordained as a Permanent Deacon for Holy Cross Catholic Church after years of preparation. He was a fine person and respected and loved by many in our community. In his new role of deacon, Joe performed with joy and grace the College's Baccalaureate service at graduation in May. The Randolph community is grieved by Joe's loss and extends its thoughts and prayers to Joe's family and friends, especially his wife, Katie, and their five young children."

The town of Duck says surf conditions at the time of the incident were moderate with a low risk of rip currents and a water temperature of 64 degrees.