Man dies while trying to rescue boys caught in rough surf, making 8th death in Outer Banks

(Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue)

KITTY HAWK, N.C. (WSET) -- An eighth victim has died while swimming in the Outer Banks.

Southern Shores Police said Kenny Ray Gooch, 32, of Powells Point, died around 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19 trying to rescue one of three boys struggling in the water near the Kitty Hawk Pier.

Police said his girlfriend's son got caught in a rip current.

The boys ages 12, 14, and 19 were swimming in the ocean when a current pulled them about 75 yards from shore, police said the 12-year-old was pulled the furthest away.

Police said Gooch tried to help the boy, but was pulled out to sea and disappeared.

Bystanders rescued the boy and the two other teens returned to shore on their own, police said.

A rescue team found Gooch unresponsive and brought him to shore to try and revive him, but they were unsuccessful.

Gooch is the eighth person to died in the rough Outer Banks surf this season.

A woman died Sunday after being rescued from the ocean in Duck Friday and the youngest victim was a four-year-old who died in April while walking along a Kitty Hawk beach.

Towns along the Outer Banks, the National Park Service, Dare County and others have posted warnings and offered education online and on site about the dangers of rip currents.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off