Officials identify man that died in drowning at Oak Island beach

Oak Island Water Rescue.
Oak Island Water Rescue.(OIWR)
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 3:32 PM EDT
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OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) - A spokesperson with the Town of Oak Island confirmed that there was a fatal drowning just after 2 p.m. on Sunday in Oak Island. The Oak Island Fire Department, Police Department and Water Rescue were all dispatched.

“Within minutes, responders arrived to find 52-year-old Kevin Whitley of Hickory, NC had been pulled to shore and was being administered CPR by bystanders. Emergency Medical Personnel performed all available resuscitation efforts for over 30 minutes, before pronouncing Mr. Whitley as deceased,” a press release from the Town of Oak Island said.

This is the fourth drowning death in Oak Island this year.

Oak Island Water Rescue has received half a dozen water rescue calls as of 3 p.m. on Sunday. Officials are stressing the dangers of the water from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Colin.

“Due to the unsettled waters as a result of Tropical Storm Colin, Oak Island Water Rescue has been flying the YELLOW Beach Warning Flag all day, and has recently upgraded that to a RED flag. A RED flag indicates a high risk of rip and longshore currents and dangerous surf conditions. Beachgoers should stay out of the water, as there is no “safe” water depth identified on RED flag days.”

Officials said that Whitley’s death and other calls received on Sunday cannot be confirmed as related to rip currents.

Click here for water safety tips from Oak Island Water Rescue.

This is a developing story. Stay with WECT for updates.

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