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Pa. man dies at hospital after ocean rescue

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

COROLLA — A Philadelphia man has died after being rescued from strong ocean currents off Corolla Beach this weekend, Currituck County officials said Tuesday.

Mark Reyes, 35, died Sunday afternoon at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, according to Currituck Fire-Emergency Medical Services Chief Chip Melton and Fire-EMS Deputy Chief Tim Riley.

Melton and Riley said Reyes went into the ocean to help his son out of the water around 5 p.m. on Saturday. In doing so, he was overcome by ocean currents and had to be rescued by bystanders, they said.

When Fire-EMS arrived, it appeared Reyes was suffering cardiac arrest, Melton and Riley said. First responders were able to restore Reyes’ heartbeat but he didn't regain consciousness, they said. Reyes was transported to Sentara Norfolk in critical condition.

Riley reported Tuesday that Reyes died at Sentara Norfolk at 2:43 p.m. on Sunday.

Melton and Riley said ocean currents have been strong lately, and noted a drowning also occurred earlier this summer at a Frisco beach in Dare County.

Currituck's official tourism site, visitcurrituck.com, advises beach-goers that red flags are displayed during rip current conditions. It also urges anyone caught in a rip current to not panic but swim parallel to the shore, not directly toward it and work your way out of the current and back to shore.

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