Tragically, a 49-year old woman visiting Emerald Isle from Kentucky drowned in the Atlantic Ocean last evening (Sunday, August 5).
Donna Sue Miller, from Clay City, Kentucky, was visiting Emerald Isle with a close friend and the friend's 9-year old daughter. The three were reportedly caught in a rip current shortly before 7 pm last night near The Islander Hotel, where the three were staying for their weekend trip to the beach. The other 2 individuals made it safely back to shore, however, Mrs. Miller was located shortly thereafter face down in the water, and was brought to shore by bystanders. Emerald Isle emergency personnel initiated CPR on the scene and continued efforts during transport to Carteret Healthcare, but, unfortunately, Mrs. Miller did not survive.
All of us at the Town of Emerald Isle are saddened by this tragedy, and offer our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Miller's family and friends. We offer our heartfelt prayers for healing and understanding during this difficult time.
Although Emerald Isle experienced dangerous ocean conditions over an 11-day period in late July, ocean conditions were relatively calm in Emerald Isle all weekend, including last evening. Winds were light out of the south-southwest at 4 - 8 mph, and wave heights were reported at approximately 2 feet every 8 seconds. The air temperature was 81 degrees under mostly clear skies at the time of the drowning incident. The incident occurred a little more than 2 hours before low tide, which occurred shortly after 9 pm on Sunday.
Know What to Do in a Rip Current
Rip currents can often form quickly and disappear quickly, and may be present in multiple locations along the beach strand - even when conditions appear relatively calm. Rip currents are often most dangerous in the 1 - 2 hours prior to low tide, so extra caution should be exercised during this time period.
Please make sure you know what to do if you become caught in a rip current, as illustrated below: