Body of second missing swimmer found at Emerald Isle Beach Strand


Emerald Isle Police say on Monday morning they recovered the body of a man who went missing in the ocean Friday while swimming at the beach.

Investigators say at 3:30 a.m. Monday, officers found the body of 18-year-old Ian Frazier Lewis, of Wake Forest, in the 2800 block of the Emerald Isle Beach Strand.

Lewis was last seen at the beach at 3:50 p.m. Friday, April 19, when witnesses say he and another swimmer, 17-year-old Mary Paige Merical, were caught in a rip current in the ocean near the 9300 block of Emerald Isle Beach Strand. Local police, fire, EMS and Coast Guard personnel immediately began searching for them. A Coast Guard Cutter from Cape Lookout and a rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City also joined the search.

Coast Guard officials say surf conditions were extremely rough at the time the pair went missing, with waves reported at 6-to-9 feet and a water temperature of 62 degrees.

Shortly after arriving on the scene, Emerald Isle Fire Department personnel were able to locate and pull Merical from the surf, where they began life-saving efforts before an ambulance took her to Carteret General Hospital for emergency medical treatment. Merical was then transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where she continues to recover from her injuries.

Authorities say they do not plan to release any additional information on Lewis’ death.

If you want to help Ian Frazier Lewis’s family with funeral expenses, you can donate to a GoFundMe fundraiser set up by his friends, with all proceeds going to the family.

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