A Havelock High School student is in critical condition this afternoon following a near drowning during a field trip Thursday.
A representative from Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City confirmed that the victim was in critical condition.
The Havelock News is withholding the identity of the student until official confirmation.
The student was on a field trip with a marine biology class to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.
Following the visit to the aquarium, the group stopped to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at Fort Macon State Park bath house on the northeast side of the City of Atlantic Beach.
“Charlie Peek, spokesman for the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, said a group of 46 students and two chaperones from HavelockHigh Schoolarrived at the bathhouse area of the state park about 11 a.m.The bathhouse area is the park’s ocean-side beach access.
Several students were going into the ocean and one a long distance out started yelling for help.
A couple of the other students and a couple of park visitors, including one with a kayak, reportedly went out to assist the male student and were able to get him to shore with the help of the kayak, Peek said.
According to Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder, the first call of distress came just after noon.
“We were dispatched down there for a drowning and when we got there they were just bringing him out and laying him on the ground. We got there and the young man was in cardiac arrest,” Snyder said.
Snyder confirmed that a student and a teacher were just beginning CPR when the rescue crew arrived.
Snyder said the conditions in the ocean were not bad, just a little choppy.
“It wasn’t rough,” Snyder said. “but that doesn’t mean there are no rip currents out there. It was a beautiful day to be honest, but that kind of stuff can happen even on the nicest days.”
Snyder said he couldn’t get a whole lot of information in reference to what had happened because the crew was busy attempting to save the young man’s life.
“Our attention was trying to get him back,” Snyder said.
“When we asked we heard that he was out there swimming, got into trouble and that’s when they noticed him and then they went out there to go get him. Apparently he was caught in a rip current and couldn’t get in and they got to him and were able to get him in.”
“He was in cardiac arrest so we started
Snyder said it takes about two minutes to get to the beach access on emergency traffic from their fire station.
“He did go quite a bit of time without any oxygen, but fortunately we were able to get there quickly and provide CPR and
Snyder said he hopes the student makes a terrific recovery.
“That’s what we’re praying for now,” Snyder said.