Palm Harbor man drowns in NC rip current - WFLA News Channel 8

Palm Harbor man drowns in NC rip current

Posted: Updated:

A North Carolina judge and the woman he tried to rescue both drowned off Sunset Beach, and authorities blamed rip currents for those deaths and a third one off another Brunswick County beach.

Chief District Court Judge Mitchell McLean, 54, died Wednesday while trying to help a husband and wife struggling in the water. McLean was the chief judge for Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany and Yadkin counties.

Also killed was Mary Anne Galway, 55, of Waxhaw, whom McLean was trying to rescue. Authorities say her husband, Edward John Galway III, 59, was treated at a hospital and released.

At Ocean Isle Beach, authorities said William Nicolaro, 72, of Palm Harbor, drowned. Nicolaro's son made it to shore and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The National Weather Service issued a warning for a severe rip current threat that continued through at least Thursday afternoon, Sunset Beach police Chief Lisa Massey said. Rip currents are strong channels of water that are difficult for the untrained eye to see. Panicked swimmers often drown from exhaustion as they try to fight the current.

When conditions are favorable for rip currents, individuals should swim at beaches with lifeguards, said Brad Reinhart, NWS meteorologist in Wilmington.

If caught in a rip current, people should let the water carry them out to sea while trying to swim parallel to shore, as the currents are usually narrow and funnel through breaks in sandbars.

"Rip currents are fairly common at our beaches," Reinhart said. "Even on days when we have a low risk of rip currents you can see individual ones that might be powerful enough to pull a child or someone that's not a strong swimmer. Any swimmer should be aware of the threat and know how to effectively escape it."

(Related link: How to escape a rip current)

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @WFLA

  • NewsMore>>

  • Date of this year's Knight Parade is no sweetheart deal for some Ybor business owners

    Date of this year's Knight Parade is no sweetheart deal for some Ybor business owners

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:52:21 GMT
    Facebook Photo: Knights of St. Yago Knight ParadeFacebook Photo: Knights of St. Yago Knight Parade
    It's a scheduling issue for some, a relationship problem for others and a lost revenue opportunity for business owners.This year the Knights of Sant'yago Knight Parade will be held on February 14-th.Several restaurant owners in Ybor are not happy with the date.
    It's a scheduling issue for some, a relationship problem for others and a lost revenue opportunity for business owners.This year the Knights of Sant'yago Knight Parade will be held on February 14-th.Several restaurant owners in Ybor are not happy with the date.
  • Defense: No evidence McTear killed baby

    Defense: No evidence McTear killed baby

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:36:31 GMT
    Richard McTear in court Tuesday (pool photo)Richard McTear in court Tuesday (pool photo)
    After the state rested its case in the Richard McTear murder trial Monday, the defense began presenting its case.
    After the state rested its case in the Richard McTear murder trial Monday, the defense began presenting its case.
  • Million dollar bond for suspects charged in death of Sarasota teen

    Million dollar bond for suspects charged in death of Sarasota teen

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:01:02 GMT
    Frank Brice (left) and Jasper Dudley (right)Frank Brice (left) and Jasper Dudley (right)
    Two teenagers have been arrested in the shooting death of 17-year-old Teria’le Rawls.19-year-old Frank Brice and 19-year-old Jasper Dudley have both been charged with principal to 2nd degree murder.
    Two teenagers have been arrested in the shooting death of 17-year-old Teria’le Rawls.19-year-old Frank Brice and 19-year-old Jasper Dudley have both been charged with principal to 2nd degree murder.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.