KURE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – A New Hanover County teacher died while trying to save two children caught in a rip current in the waters off Kure Beach Sunday evening.
According to a news release from the Kure Beach Police Department, emergency crews were dispatched to the area of N. Avenue Beach access around 5:45 p.m. after receiving a report of multiple swimmers in distress with witnesses saying two children were caught in a rip current.
“In an attempt to rescue the children, several bystanders and members of the Kure Beach Fire Department, entered the water and successfully brought the children to shore,” the release stated.
One of the rescuers, Jessica Embry, who is a fine arts teacher at Ashley High School and the director of the school’s orchestra, became distressed as she helped to save the children.
Embry was taken to shore and life-saving measures were performed but weren’t successful, according to the release. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
One other rescuer was taken to the hospital for observation while others were treated at the scene.
“The Kure Beach Police Department commends the heroic efforts and sacrifice made by Jessica Embry, bystanders, and rescuers. Jessica Embry, along with all involved are credited with saving the lives of the children,” the release stated.
New Hanover County Schools is expected to release a full statement about Embry’s death. Grief counselors are currently at Ashley High School to help students and staff.
Embry was also a member of Lifepoint Church which released a statement Monday morning about her death, which read in part: “Jessica was a sister, a daughter, a teammate, a teacher, a missionary, a mentor, a band member, and a friend. She has been a part of the Lifepoint family for over 10 years and she will be greatly missed.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.