June 21, 2012
A 49-year-old man from Staunton died Wednesday while swimming in the ocean off Nags Head.
Gregory Balsley was pulled from the ocean south of Limulus Street, near the 10000 block of South Old Oregon Inlet Road (near Mile Post 20), at about 2 pm by Nags Head public safety personnel.
Responding to Mr. Balsley’s cries for help, a Nags Head Ocean Rescue lifeguard stationed in the area brought Mr. Balsley and another member of his group, Justin Thomas, 21, to shore.
Upon reaching the beach, the victims received lifesaving measures by emergency services personnel. Both men were then transported to The Outer Banks Hospital by Dare County Emergency Medical Services, where the elder man was declared dead. Mr. Thomas is expected to recover fully.
A rip current was present in the area at the time of the tragedy; however, it has not yet been determined whether drowning was the primary cause of Mr. Balsley’s death. This incident occurred 48 hours after a period of rough weather and surf, during which red, no swimming flags were posted on area beaches.
The town of Nags Head wished to express their condolences to Mr. Balsley’s family. We would also like to remind everyone to swim near a lifeguard and follow the directions of public safety staff.