2 family members drown after being caught in rip current near Oak Island pier

OAK ISLAND, N.C. — Two family members drowned Wednesday after being caught in a rip current near a pier in Oak Island.

According to WTVD, three family members were swimming when they were caught in the rip current.

Bystanders reportedly stepped in and were able to pull two people out of the water, but one person was already dead. The third person’s body was found three hours later, according to WTVD.

No names have been released.

Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young told WTVD that bystanders took a major risk by trying to rescue the family.

”If you’re going to help somebody that’s caught in a rip current, you have to take floatation with you so that you don’t become a victim yourself,” Young said. “We had a double tragedy today -- it could have easily been a triple tragedy.”

Young said yellow flags were out Wednesday warning swimmers that rip current risks were high. When yellow flags are out, swimmers are advised to not get in the water farther than knee-deep.

The rip currents on the coast are currently stronger because of Tropical Storm Henri, which is located about 500 miles off the North Carolina coast.

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