Teen swimmer reported missing Saturday evening off Buxton

By on September 10, 2017

A 17-year-old male from out-of-state disappeared while swimming Saturday evening in the surf off Buxton.

He was reported missing at 6:24 p.m. and was last seen north of the jetties, according to a National Park Service press release.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, National Park Service, and Dare County EMS all responded and a search of the area was conducted using a helicopter and spotlights Saturday night.


Additional searches were underway Sunday morning. The Coast Guard suspended their portion of the search at 2:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service posted a high risk of rip currents along the Outer Banks, due to large swell generated by Hurricane Irma. Surf of 5 to 7 feet was observed along lower Hatteras Island on Saturday.


  • Will

    Why no lifeguards on parkserves beaches

    Sunday, Sep 10 @ 12:48 pm
  • Sam Walker

    Multiple reasons. Continued funding cuts, lifeguards used to be everywhere in CHNS in the 70s.
    Now only lifeguards at 3 locations (Coquina Beach, the Lighthouse site south of this incident, and Ocracoke swimming beach)

    Hatteras Ocean Rescue conducts roving patrols, but can’t be everywhere between Mirlo and Hatteras Inlet at once.

    In the end, you have to pay attention of when and when not to be in the ocean. Some people just don’t pay attention, no matter how much we warn them about conditions on the radio.

    Sunday, Sep 10 @ 6:20 pm
  • J

    They pulled the life guard off her location to head to the scene i passed her when i was running south… they didnt account for the current and there are.3.jetties and tons of debris in the area surf was much higher then in that video. That video is off the lighthouse beach. The
    helo didnt arrive for a hour.

    Sunday, Sep 10 @ 6:36 pm
  • Bill

    Swimmer during posted no swimming time has risked the lives of the Coast Guard personnel, Dare County personnel, Lifeguards, etc.

    Sunday, Sep 10 @ 7:52 pm
  • Cindy Ross

    My family and I were there when the search started. We were staying ocean front off Old Lighthouse Rd. We could see from a top our balcony something very distant reflecting in the water every once in a while. When the jet ski showed up they couldn’t see what we saw from our vantage point. The girls went down to tell the people to radio the jet ski to go straight out…much further out. The sun was setting and we could no longer see what we thought may have been him any more. The helicopter flew with its spot light up and down the coast throughout the night. My heart goes out for this young man and his family. I absolutely cannot imagine what they must be going thru!!! We left this morning heading back home to Fallston, NC but our hearts were very heavy. May God give them peace that only He can at such a tragic time.

    Sunday, Sep 10 @ 8:48 pm
  • Kimberly Bear

    We were staying oceanfront on cottage st and saw the helicopters searching for this boy for hours! Praying for him and his family.

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 7:28 am
  • Local Girl

    how about don’t swim while red flags are posted. common sense people…common sense.

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 8:16 am
  • Lori Gosnell

    My sister was there when this young man got caught in a rip tide and we all have been praying for him and his family but I do have a point to make on this. I’ve been to the Outer Banks numerous times over the years and I definitely done my research on the area. The Obx area ocean is a lot more dangerous than say Myrtle Beach’s is. You have to be aware at all times. The currents are stronger and harder, especially when hurricanes are churning in the Atlantic, no matter if they are in the Florida Keys. Extreme caution should have been used. You also need to know what to do if you get caught in a rip current. Panic is a natural reaction but if you are going swimming in an ocean especially where the waters change from the gulf waters to cooler waters, you need to take extra precautions and not just rely on knowing how to swim well. Nature in all its forms is unpredictable and I definitely can’t say this tragedy could have been avoided, but a life jacket, knowledge of the area and the history of the area, may have helped. I truly feel deeply sorry for the family and have sent up many prayers for this boy to be found, but please anybody reading this, spread the word on safety and common sense. There is only so many life guards in certain areas. Obx is not your typical over populated beach. From top to the bottom is many many miles of beach. Yes it is patrolled but you have to listen to the radio, get tide and ocean conditions from the stores there. All of them have them I’ve been into have that information. Arm yourself with knowledge before a tragedy happens. And this was truly a tragedy. I do hope this young man is found so His family will have closure. I’ve heard talks of a law suit? Really? I know when you are hurting you strike out at everyone else but knowledge and common sense play a huge roll in this. Was he on a ski do? If he was riding something, then did he have a life vest on? The papers are saying much and what I’ve heard is from my family that was there. A lot of people go there to fish and because it is still one of the few beaches you can still drive on. People the Obx is, most of it is literally island. Sound on one side and ocean on the other. People go for the nice homes to kick back and relax. It’s not an over populated area like South Carolina beaches where you have life guards every 100 ft. It’s more a sanctuary for endangered species and great fishing. I can’t stress enough, know everything you can find out about an area before you vacation there. It’s a beautiful area to go and things you can’t experience any where else.

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 8:45 am
  • Jim L

    Cindy Ross – We own a home about 100 yards north of where the rescuers were working and also witnessed it from there. There are at least three buoys about a half mile out in this exact area that are associated with the Weeks Marine beach nourishment work. One is a standard round buoy and the others are oblong and could easily be mistaken for something else – especially in rough seas. I’m guessing that is what you saw. We are devastated by the loss of this young man and can’t begin to comprehend what his family and friends are going through. Prayers to all.

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 8:50 am
  • Bill Ball

    There were actually 2 young men in the 17-18 years old range that were sinking Saturday evening. They were able to pull one young man from the water but he was unconscious when they loaded Jim up the the ambulance. I still haven’t heard if he is alive today or not. The other young man is still missing as of today. Unfortunately people are still not pay attention to the water 48 hours after this incident. Just this morning I saw a little girl (approx. 5yrs old) and her brother (about 8yr old) playing in the surf. The 3 adults and the little boy walked off and left the little girl by herself. Well the grandad made it about 40-50 yards down the beach them turned around and walked backed towards her. Just as he was getting close a big wave hit, drove her down, and was dragging her out when her grandad scooped her up. 10 seconds later and we would’ve had another drowning victim. This happen in front of the outer banks motel about 300-400 yards north of where the 2 young men drowned Saturday.

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 12:43 pm
  • Vacationer

    Prayer is what’s needed now, not blame.

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 2:36 pm
  • Susannnah

    This is the story of the young man. who drowned in the Outer Banks.
    His name is Nicholas Vero. There is a gofund me page for him. I cannot even imagine what his family is going through. My son went to school with Nick and he will be missed by so many. Such a tragedy…this could have been any of us please remember.

    After tragic drowning, Attleboro High senior remembered as ‘everyone’s friend’
    By Kayla Canne kcanne@thesunchronicle.com Sep 11, 2017 Updated 48 min ago

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 7:58 pm
  • Susannah MacDonald

    The name of the 17 year old teen who drowned is Nicholas Vero from Attleboro, Massachusetts. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

    The article is in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle newspaper if the link does not work

    Monday, Sep 11 @ 8:09 pm
  • Gene

    This is unfortunate and tragic and it happens almost every year on Hatteras! It is well known that the beaches don’t have lifeguards. You swim at your own risk. Lawsuit for what? It is a wild ocean with well know rips and drop offs.

    Tuesday, Sep 12 @ 10:43 am
  • surf123

    Drownings are always unfortunate, but lifeguards add a false sense of security, especially when the ocean is really churning. Everyone needs to be responsible for themselves and their families and use sound judgement. The idea that the Outer Banks have more rip tides or are more dangerous is nonsense. Rip tides exist whenever there are waves breaking as the water has to get back out into the ocean. They are even more prevalent in the deep water surrounding a sandbar where the water has an easier path back out into the ocean.

    On a related note the temporary sign alerting everyone to rip tides just north of Oregon Inlet (when heading south) is of questionable value. The sign says the same thing everyday even when there is little to no wave action. One might read that sign and assume rip tides are all the same because they swam on a calm day.

    @Will…because it is not even remotely practical to defend the entire coast nor would I want someone telling me what I can and cannot do. The reason to come to Hatteras Island is to free yourself from beach rules. If you need protection stay up north.

    @Sam Walker…there is absolutely no way lifeguards used to be everywhere in CHNS in the 70’s or at anytime since it was formed. I have been coming here since the early 70’s and never saw a single lifeguard other than the 3 places you listed.

    Tuesday, Sep 12 @ 11:46 am
  • Kellie Hubacheck

    I’m the aunt of Nick Vero. I was at the beach when this happened and jumped in the ocean to save him along with my husband, son and brother. Some people have mentioned warnings that were made regarding the rip currents. What were the warnings? I never so a flag ,an emergency alert on TV. I’m not being confrontational I honestly want to know what did we miss.
    Thank you to those who responded with kind words and support for Nick and my family.

    Thursday, Sep 14 @ 5:11 pm
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