EMERALD ISLE — Town police reported Monday they have recovered the body of 18-year-old Wake Forest resident Ian Frazier Lewis, who was lost in the ocean Friday.

In a press release, Police Chief Tony Reese said officers “were able to locate and recover the body of Ian Frazier Lewis … in the area of the 2800 block of the Emerald Isle Beach Strand.

“Search and recovery efforts had been ongoing since the incident was reported Friday, and involved Police, Fire, EMS and Coast Guard assets.”

The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search during bad weather around 8 p.m. Friday.

Mr. Lewis, whose body was recovered far to the east of where he was swimming Friday, was one of two swimmers involved in the event.

Police responded to a call at 3:50 p.m. and went to the 9300 block of the ocean strand, near Fawn Drive. Emergency personnel were able to rescue Mary Paige Merical, 17, of Raleigh, but didn’t find Mr. Lewis.

Ms. Merical was transported by EMS to Carteret Health Care in Morehead City, then moved Friday night to Vidant Health in Greenville.

According to the press release, both were caught in a rip current.

The press release stated that any inquiries regarding Ms. Merical’s current condition “should be directed to her treating physicians at Vidant.”

The police chief added that “The Town of Emerald Isle would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Lewis, as well as our continued support and prayers to the family and friends of Ms. Merical.”

No additional information will be released, according to the chief.

When the event took place Friday, winds were 20-25 mph from the south and waves were six to nine feet high, with a water temperature of 62 degrees, according to officials.

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt

(1) comment


Folks need to know that when caught in a rip current, to not fight it, rather swim parallel to shore, or 90 degrees to the current. Otherwise float if exhausted, then come ashore when out of the current. Key is to swim parallel to the beach.

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