As Hurricane Irma bears down, teen swimmer goes missing at NC’s Outer Banks

As Hurricane Irma bears down, teen swimmer goes missing at NC’s Outer Banks

CHARLOTTE, NC (Mark Price/The Charlotte Observer) - A teenage tourist has gone missing off North Carolina's Outer Banks, and the search has taken on greater urgency as Hurricane Irma continues up the east coast.

Officials with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore say the teen went missing about 6:24 p.m, Saturday, while swimming in the jetties off Buxton.

The youth was identified only as a male from out of state. His family is currently en route to Buxton, officials said.

Searchers worked through the night Saturday and early Sunday, including bringing in a helicopter and using spotlights. Additional searches will be done today, involving the U.S. Coast Guard, Dare County Sheriff's Office, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, National Park Service and Dare County EMS.

There was no warning up against being in the water, officials said. However, the seas off North Carolina pose an increased danger from rip currents as the winds of Hurricane Irma continue north from Florida.

While recent Hurricane Irma forecasts have been favorable for North Carolina, there remains potential for significant impacts off the North Carolina coast from Irma, says the Coast Guard.

The coastal impacts currently predicted include large surf, potential coastal flooding, and tropical storm level winds later Sunday and early Monday potentially into Tuesday, officials said.