Two brothers were exploring a sandbar off a North Carolina beach when it began to vanish beneath the rising tide.
The 24-year-old and 12-year-old had walked out on the sandbar near the New River Inlet during low tide on Friday afternoon, July 29, to get a better look at a shrimp boat that was in the water, Chad Soward, chief of the North Topsail Beach Fire Department, told WCTI.
Christopher Githire, the brothers’ uncle, told WWAY that family members started looking for the pair as it neared dinnertime. He found their belongings on the beach but saw no other signs of them.
He asked others on the beach if they had seen them, and a woman pointed toward the shrimp boat, Githire told the outlet. That’s when Githire said he saw the two trying to swim back to shore from the disappearing sandbar.
“They weren’t moving into shore, you could see them swim, swim, swim, but then kind of like get pushed back,” he said, according to the outlet.
The family then called 911 after realizing the brothers were in distress, WCTI reported.
Police and fire rescue crews responded to the beach access just before 4:45 p.m., Alice Derian, North Topsail Beach town manager, told McClatchy News in an email on Sunday, July 31.
Crews were able to rescue the 12-year-old but could not find the 24-year-old, Derian said.
The search for him is ongoing, according to Derian. No other information had been released as of July 31.
North Topsail Beach is about 140 miles southeast of Raleigh.
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