Family talks about efforts to save 2 NC men who died at coast

Wake County News

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Avid surfer Brent Nevadomski rushed to help other surfers and a lifeguard trying to rescue two swimmers in distress Sunday afternoon.

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m. in the Emerald Isle surf in the area of 9901 Coast Guard Road near Ship Wreck Lane.

“I came to help them and they were trying to keep him on the board and afloat as the waves were pushing us,” said Nevadomski.

Once back onshore, Nevadomski’s cousin, nurse Alise Pocta, began performing CPR.

“I could see the man wasn’t breathing, so we started CPR right away,” said Pocta of Richmond, Virginia.

Then, people on the beach spotted someone else unconscious floating in the water. That man was also pulled from the surf.

Volunteers and first responders tried but failed to revive both men.

The victims were 72-year-old James Burton from Cornelius, and 73-year-old John Emerline from Raleigh.

Burton was in the ocean and “appeared to be in trouble,” so Emerline entered the water and tried to save him, a news release from Emerald Isle officials said.

Pocta says the ocean is unpredictable and wants everyone to be safe.

“Just be careful — it can happen in seconds. All of a sudden you can touch (the bottom) and then two seconds later you cant and then you’re stuck out there. I would say don’t go out alone and if you’re not comfortable definitely don’t go,” said Pocta.

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