A teenage tourist has gone missing off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and the search has taken on greater urgency as Hurricane Irma continues up the east coast.
Officials with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore say the teen went missing about 6:24 p.m, Saturday, while swimming in the jetties off Buxton.
The youth was identified only as a male from out of state. His family is currently en route to Buxton, officials said. The Outer Banks Voice reported he is 17.
Searchers worked through the night Saturday and early Sunday, including bringing in a helicopter and using spotlights. Additional searches will be done today, involving the U.S. Coast Guard, Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, National Park Service and Dare County EMS.
The National Weather Service has posted a high risk of rip currents along the Outer Banks, due to large swell generated by Hurricane Irma. Surf of 5 to 7 feet was observed along lower Hatteras Island over the weekend.
As the hurricane nears the Carolinas, experts expect large surf, potential coastal flooding, and tropical storm level winds late Sunday and Monday.