North Carolina Town Under Fire for 2011 Drowning Death

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A North Carolina town is facing a civil suit in connection with the drowning death of a 19-year-old Raleigh man in 2011. The Town of Carolina Beach is implicated in the wrongful death suit, which was filed by the young man's father. News reports show the suit was filed in Hanover Superior Court in late June.

Official reports show the young man, who lived with his parents, died after going swimming with some of his friends. The victim and his companions chose to go swimming at noon on June 26, 2011. Shortly after they entered the water, lifeguards were told to clear the water and beach because of inclement weather. The area was ostensibly patrolled by two lifeguards at the time of the young man's drowning. A leader at the department allegedly decided to send home most of the lifeguards after the thunder and lightning were reported in the distance.

As a result, only four to six lifeguards were present to protect the massive stretch of beach where the accident occurred. They were directed to staff the beach's 15 towers. Rather, shockingly, only two veteran lifeguards were on duty that day. The rest were "rookies" who were new to the lifeguard force. In addition, even though the weather cleared later in the day, none of the lifeguards were recalled to help staff the beach front.

The accident happened at about 2:45 p.m. that day, when the group's floatation device was overturned in the waves. Although one of the ousted swimmers was rescued by a local surfer, the decedent could not be found. The first 911 call was not logged until 15 minutes after the incident. There were so few lifeguards that rescuers were unable to locate the man until about an hour after his raft overturned. His body was recovered, and he was declared dead upon transport to local medical facilities.

In this case, the man's family could recover financial damages from the lifeguard manager, along with the city itself and other entities. They could receive compensation for a variety of civil claims, including wrongful death, pain and suffering and loss of consort.

Source:, "Wrongful death lawsuit filed against Carolina Beach for 2011 drowning" No author given, Jul. 03, 2013

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