According to the Holden Beach Police Chief, several people were pulled from the water between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. in the 100 block of Ocean Boulevard. (Source: Kara Butner)
HOLDEN BEACH, NC (AP/WECT) - A fourth person has drowned off a Brunswick County beach, where the risk for rip currents remains high.
Brunswick County coroner Greg White says 57-year-old Randall Joyce of Pfafftown drowned Thursday in the surf off Holden Beach.
Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano says Joyce was swimming with his wife and two adult children when the group got caught up in a rip current. He says all four were taken to a hospital, where Joyce was pronounced dead.
Beachgoers said they could hear screams and people yelling to call 911. At first they didn't know what was going on, but realized what happened when they saw people being pulled from the water and first responders swarming around them.
Those who witnessed the water rescue say they think there should be lifeguards, or at least warning flags, at the beaches in Brunswick County.
The police chief says the waters have been rough along the coast, leading to other drownings in the county earlier this week. On Wednesday, one person drowned off Ocean Isle Beach and two off Sunset Beach.
The National Weather Service says a high rip current risk was in effect Friday for the coast of Brunswick County and Horry County, SC, from North Myrtle Beach northward.
Copyright 2013 WECT. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.