Man Dies Trying to Rescue 2 People From Rip Current

June 19, 2017 2:58 pm Last Updated: June 19, 2017 5:41 pm

A North Carolina man died on June 19 after he was caught in a rip current while trying to save two people.

Justin Eakes, 21, died on Monday morning at Vidant Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman, WITN-TV reported.

Shirley Williams said a group, including Eakes, was swimming back to shore when a wave pulled her daughter and another woman into the ocean.

Eakes turned around and helped rescue the two, but he was pulled under for about an hour, Williams said.

According to the Atlantic Beach Fire Department, Eakes was one of five people who were in distress when officials arrived at the unprotected section of the beach. 

“We made access with the jet skis and EMS unit to the location on the beach. We got on scene and there were multiple victims, CPR was being performed on one of the victims,” said Kevin White, Shift Captain at Atlantic Beach Fire Department, WCTI-12 reported.

A man identifying himself as Eakes’s brother left a comment in the WCTI-12 report.

“Thanks for all the coverage and letting letting everyone know how brave he was!” wrote William Ray Sutton. “I’m his oldest brother and want to be first to thank you!”

And someone claiming to be the family member of the woman Eakes helped rescue thanked the brother.

“He was attempting to rescue a family member of mine and we [are] forever [grateful] to him,” Brandy Pierce wrote.

Red flags are now flying at Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle near where Eakes was pulled in.