EMERALD ISLE — One young woman is in the hospital in unknown condition and a young man is missing after a water rescue effort in the ocean Friday afternoon by town police, fire and emergency medical personnel.

In a press release issued a little after 6:30 p.m., Police Chief Tony Reese stated that a call came in around 3:50 p.m. about two swimmers in distress off the 9300 block of the beach strand.

“Emerald Isle Police, Fire and EMS personnel responded, and once on scene were advised by witnesses that there were two swimmers in the water that were no longer visible,” Chief Reese wrote in the release.

“Search efforts were initiated for Mary Paige Merical (age 17) of Raleigh and Ian Frazier Lewis (age 18) of Wake Forest.

“Shortly after arriving on scene, Emerald Isle Fire Department personnel were able to locate and pull Ms. Merical from the surf, where life-saving efforts were started immediately,” the chief added.

“Ms. Merical was transported to (Carteret Health Care) by emergency medical services personnel. Her condition is unknown at this time.

“Search efforts are continuing for Mr. Lewis,” the chief added. “(U.S.) Coast Guard Sector Wilmington was notified and dispatched a Coast Guard Cutter from Cape Lookout and a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City to the scene to assist in the search and recovery efforts.

“Surf conditions reported at the time of the event were extremely rough, with waves reported at 6-9 feet and a water temperature of 62 degrees,” according to the chief.

This is a developing story, more information will be provided as details become available. 

(Previous report)

EMERALD ISLE — The Emerald Isle Fire Department and the Emergency Medical Service Department responded Friday afternoon to a report of two people in trouble in the water amid rough ocean conditions near Fawn Drive and Ocean Drive.

The distress call came in around 3:50 p.m. Friday, according to scanner reports, and Interim Town Manager Randy Martin said one person, a female, was being transported to Carteret Health Care and personnel were still looking for a second person, a male, as of 4:20 p.m.

He did not have further information on the two subjects.

Mr. Martin said he had been contacted and briefed by emergency personnel a few minutes earlier, but no other details were available.

Mr. Martin said emergency personnel told him they believed this was the earliest a water rescue necessary in town in many years and that the ocean was “very rough” as a storm system approaches the area from the south and west.

Ocean water temperatures were in the mid-60s and the wind was from the south at about 20-25 miles per hour with higher gusts.

This is a developing story, more information will be provided as details become available.

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