Pregnant woman dies after water rescue

By on July 26, 2012

(Washington & Lee U.)

By Irene Nolan
Island Free Press

A pregnant woman has died and her husband was in serious condition after the two were pulled from the ocean near Ramp 43 in Buxton Wednesday evening.

National Park Service chief law enforcement ranger Paul Stevens identified the couple as Jill Bailey Chenet, 31, and her husband Matthew Christopher Chenet, 37, of Washington, D.C.

Stevens said a 911 call was received about 6:45 p.m. about two swimmers in distress in the ocean.

NPS rangers and off-duty lifeguards responded, along with the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad and Dare County Emergency Medical Services.

When the first responders arrived, they saw a man and a woman floating face down in the water about 20 yards offshore. The off-duty lifeguards and rescue squad members pulled the two from the water and CPR was begun immediately.

Jill Chenet, about six months pregnant, was not breathing and had no pulse. Matthew Chenet was having trouble breathing.

Matthew Chenet was flown directly to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

His wife was taken by ambulance to Vidant Family Care Center in Avon, where medical personnel detected a weak pulse. She was then taken by ambulance to The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head.

From Nags Head, she was flown to Sentara Norfolk General, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

Jill Chenet, a 2003 graduate of Washington and Lee University, was a second-grade teacher at the River School in Washington, D.C.

The drowning is the third at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore this summer.

According to the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., the rip current threat was low yesterday.

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