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ENC man dies in what police are investigating as accidental drowning

Robert Krulwich
One person is dead in a suspected drowning at an eastern North Carolina beach.

One person is dead in a suspected drowning at an eastern North Carolina beach.

The Surf City Fire Department was called to a strand on North Shore Drive near Greensboro Avenue and found bystanders attempting to perform CPR on a man in the water.

First responders pulled the man out of the ocean and continued CPR but said he did not survive.

The victim has been identified as 43-year-old Raymond O’Bryant Whitfield of Rose Hill.

The Surf City Police Department is investigating the death as a probable accidental drowning.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to