North Carolina

Man, boy dead after getting caught in Atlantic Beach rip current

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. — Authorities on the North Carolina coast said a man and his girlfriend's son have died after they were pulled from the Atlantic Ocean after getting caught in a rip current.

Lt. Nate Nelson with the Atlantic Beach Fire Department said a man and a boy were pulled from the waters west of the Oceanana Pier by a rescue swimmer and a jet ski sent to help.

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According to WTVD, Atlantic Beach Police Chief Jeff Harvey said the man, identified by friends as 24-year-old Austin "Catfish" Potter, and the boy who was about 5 or 6 years old died late Tuesday at a local hospital.

Austin "Catfish" Potter (Credit: WTVD)

(Austin "Catfish" Potter)

"He used his last breath to help somebody else," Potter's sister Samantha told WTVD on Wednesday.

Firefighters said yellow flags were up for most of Atlantic Beach, but red flags were flying where the two were taken out of the water.

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"Pay attention to the guidelines, the flags," Samantha said. "If you're not sure if it's safe for you to swim, ask. If the water looks too rough don't go in the water."

The family is planning to hold a memorial at the beach.