A 68 year-old man drowned in North Myrtle Beach Wednesday afternoon after going missing in the ocean, said city spokesman Pat Dowling.
The Horry County Coroner's Office on Thursday identified him as Jeffrey Holgate of Bushkill, Pennsylvania.
Holgate went missing in the ocean around 2:15 p.m. near 61st Avenue North, Dowling said. After sending out rescue crews in boats and using aerial drones, responders found him less than a half hour later near the tip of The Point in Cherry Grove, Dowling added.
It’s unclear what caused him to drown.
On Tuesday, the city of North Myrtle Beach warned of strong rip currents through Saturday, caused by Hurricane Larry.
“Hurricane Larry will remain far off the U.S. East Coast but large swells from the hurricane will create dangerous surf conditions along our coastline during the remainder of this week and through the weekend,” the city said in a news release. “The risk for rip currents increases Wednesday, and life-threatening rip currents are likely Thursday through Saturday. Large breakers are expected in the surf, and steep waves are likely around inlet entrances, especially with each falling tide Thursday through Saturday.”
Beach-goers should pay special attention to the warning flags on the beach. On Wednesday, there was a yellow-flag warning, Dowling said.
A green flag means it’s safe to swim, yellow means to use caution and a red flag means there are dangerous conditions and people shouldn’t go in the water above knee height.
A double red flag means no swimming is allowed at all.
“The rip currents are life-threatening,” Dowling warned.