Man drowns trying to save 12-year-old from Outer Banks surf

Man drowns trying to save 12-year-old from Outer Banks surf

SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. — SOUTHERN SHORES, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man is the eighth victim of the rough Outer Banks surf during this year's beach vacation season.

News outlets report 32-year-old Kenny Ray Gooch of Powells Point died Thursday evening after trying to save his girlfriend's sons from a rip current. Southern Shores Police Chief David Kole says three boys were swimming near the Kitty Hawk pier when the current pulled them away from shore.

"We could just see a head going down, then a head coming back up and going down, and just struggling really and he went down and didn`t come back up," said beach-goer Julia Haferman.

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Gooch rushed into the water to help, but was also tugged out to sea and disappeared from sight. Kole says bystanders rescued a 12-year-old while and the two other teens made it back to land on their own.

Rip currents have been frequent along the Outer Banks this year. Nine people died in the ocean off the Outer Banks two years ago.