Saturday, May 4, 2019 at approximately 4:23pm, Emerald Island PD, EMS & Fire responded to a 9-11 call at the 9100 block of the Emerald Island Beach Strand in reference to a reported swimmer in distress.
This swimmer was identified as a local Marine, 28-year-old Justin Hinds, stationed aboard Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC. Hinds is a native of Avondale, AZ.
Additionally, Hinds was a husband and father to two young boys. The flags indicated “moderate” (yellow flag) wave conditions and risks this week, as well as on the beach at the time of the incident.
Several beach goers and experienced surfers have said there are no life guards on duty at this time of year and the rip currents are more aggressive than anything they’ve seen on EI. Lifeguards don’t begin watch until around Mid-May. Swimmers and Beach goers are urged to use caution and take heed to the flag warning systems in place as precautionary measures.
Hinds was transported to Carteret Health center after being taken from the water by friends who were also on the beach at the time. He was pronounced dead by Carteret Health Center medical staff.