One high school student died and another is in critical condition after the two drowned off the coast of Emerald Isle in North Carolina over the weekend.
Ian Lewis, an 18-year-old soccer player at Wake Forest High School (N.C.), was found around 3:30 a.m. Monday morning, according to ABC11. He had gone underwater on Good Friday and the search lasted through the weekend.
He had gone to the beach with 17-year-old Paige Merical, a friend from school. She was also pulled into the rip current and underwater for 14 minutes before she was found.
Merical remained in critical condition as of Wednesday morning, according to WFMyNews2.
Waves were as large as six to nine feet on Friday and winds reached up to 30 miles per hour, according to ABC11.
Merical’s dad, John, told WRAL he hopes this tragedy can serve as a warning and help save lives. More people in North and South Carolina were killed in rip currents than flooding, tornadoes and lightning combined, the website reported.
Lewis’ soccer team gathered at the coach’s house instead of practice to share memories and be together, according to ABC11.
As of 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, Lewis’ had raised more than $11,600 of the $12,000 goal and Merical’s had raised more than $7,200 of the $10,000 goal.