The town of Emerald Isle had two accidental drownings and one suicide by drowning this year, but had far fewer rescue calls than in the 2019 spring-fall tourism season.
That was the word from Emerald Isle Fire Chief Bill Walker during the town board of commissioners’ monthly meeting, conducted Nov. 10 on the GoToWebinar platform.
Chief Walker told the board there were 86 rescue calls to the town emergency medical services and fire departments. The fire department runs the town’s lifeguard and ocean safety programs. Chief Walker credited commissioners and Town Manager Matt Zapp for making efforts to improve ocean safety this year by hiring an additional lifeguard, designating an ocean rescue director and obtaining new equipment to use on the beach, including additional Jeeps to get rescue personnel to areas away from the two major beach access points quicker.