CARTERET COUNTY - A field trip turns to terror after a Havelock High School student nearly drowns. At last checked, the 17-year-old senior was in critical condition.
Atlantic Beach firefighters say they were dispatched to the bathhouse area of Fort Macon State Park at noon on Thursday. That's on the northeast side of the city of Atlantic Beach in Carteret County.
Fire Chief Adam Snyder says when officials arrived on scene, the student was in full cardiac arrest.
In a statement, Craven County school officials stated that 40 students from Havelock High School attended a board-approved field trip to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Macon State Park on Thursday. While they were at Fort Macon State Park, officials say some students entered the water. One student was apparently caught up in a rip current and had to be rescued.
"He was unconscious," stated Charles Kane. Kane, a former Camp Lejeune Marine, immediately sprang into action to rescue the student after he heard screams from students. Kane, along with an unidentified man on a kayak, found two students in trouble. They lifted one student to safety, but Kane says the other student was pale and unconscious.
"The other kid was face down in the water, he was pale and blue around the lips," stated Kane, "so I immediately grabbed him and turned him over onto his back."
Kane says he then swam back to shore with the student.
Craven County School spokeswoman Jennifer Wagner released a statement saying that all field trips must have an instructional objective, but that objective depends on the specific trip.
"As such, there is no specific policy regarding field trips to the beach or any other setting and/or location," stated Wagner. "The field trip request and the parent permission slip did not state whether the activities would include entering the water to swim."
School and firefighters have not publicly released the name of the student.