PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Pender County officials say a body was found on the beach near the 900 block of the southern end of Topsail Beach Saturday afternoon.
According to Police Chief Sam Gervase, the victim is a man from Greensboro who is in his 30s. His name has not yet been released, as officers are notifying his next of kin.
The victim was on vacation with his wife and two children, ages 7 and 9.
Around 10:30 a.m., he told his wife he was going for a swim.
Gervase believes the victim got caught in a rip current, and the victim's body floated 500 feet from where he went missing to where eyewitnesses spotted his body, just south of Jolly Roger Pier.
Mark Vardy was staying at his vacation home near the scene of the accident. Vardy says he saw a body floating in the water. He rushed down to the beach to try to revive the swimmer but he was too late.
"You see a guy face down and you don't know if you can save a guy like that so you get to them as quickly as you can," said Vardy. "By the time I got there and retrieved him and pulled him in, I realized it was not a recent event."
Vardy says the incident makes him think harder about taking the necessary safety precautions in the ocean.
"It's a traumatic event, it's not something that happens everyday or even in some people's life time," said Vardy. "It definitely has an emotional effect and it makes you appreciate the fact that you have to respect the ocean."
Authorities are continuing to investigate.
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