Virginia man drowns while trying to save young girl from rough surf in NC

(Jason & Ellen Matthews)

A Halifax County man has drowned amid dangerous surf conditions in North Carolina.

41-year-old Troy Strickland was attempting to save a young girl from rip current tides at Emerald Isle.

A video from a witness at a beach there shows people trying to rescue swimmers by linking arms to form a long chain.

The Town of Emerald Isle tweeted the drowning happened Wednesday afternoon and that red flags indicating people should not swim were in place at beaches. Town manager Frank Rush says the person who drowned was a 41-year-old man visiting on vacation.

According to officials, there was only one lifeguard in the 9000 block of Emerald Isle where the drowning happened.

All other lifeguards were responding to water a rescue that happened six minutes before the one involving Strickland, around 2:24 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Six others were taken to the hospital in addition to Strickland. They are expected to be okay.

The video Shane Gentry provided to news outlets shows beachgoers in Emerald Isle lined up arm-in-arm and attempting to pull people from the rough water. Gentry says "it was nuts. I've never seen anything like it."

Halifax County softball organization, Halifax Heat, mentioned that Strickland was a manager and engineer for one of the teams.

The town of Emerald Isle said that people should stay out of the ocean as the dangerous conditions continue.

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