Man drowns trying to save child swept out to sea in NC - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man drowns trying to save child swept out to sea in NC

A man drowned trying to save a 12-year-old off the North Carolina coast. (Source: WTKR/CNN) A man drowned trying to save a 12-year-old off the North Carolina coast. (Source: WTKR/CNN)

POWELLS POINT, NC (WTKR/CNN) – It's another reminder of the power of the ocean, and its potential danger for beachgoers.

Vacationers on North Carolina's Outer Banks were witness to it Thursday.

Southern Shores Police reported Thursday night that three teenage boys were swimming north of the Kitty Hawk Pier when they got pulled too far out to sea.

A man jumped in to save them. They made it out – he didn't.

The drowning victim was identified as 32-year-old Kenny Ray Gooch.

According to police, he was from Powells Point, and sacrificed himself to save his girlfriend's 12-year-old son.

The boy was swimming with a 14-year-old and a 19-year-old, when they got caught in rough currents.

Gooch went into the water to save the 12-year-old. He was swept out into the ocean and disappeared.

The 19-year-old and 14-year-old were able to swim back to the shore themselves, according to officials.

After Gooch had disappeared, two bystanders jumped into the water to save the 12-year-old.

Gooch would later be found by ocean rescue personnel, who were unable to revive him after bringing him back to shore and performing CPR.

Julia Haferman and her husband witnessed the scene. Their beach experience was very different after watching the heartbreak unfold.

"Don't fear the ocean. But understand what it's capable of," Haferman said.

As Haferman and her family were visiting light houses Thursday, one of the tour guides warned her young daughters about rip currents. On Friday, Haferman said she was thankful for the life-saving instructions.

This is the eighth drowning in the Outer Banks since April.

Copyright 2018 WTKR via CNN. All rights reserved.

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