Rip-current rescue leads to one death on Kure Beach

KURE BEACH — On Sunday, a local woman, Jessica Lea Embry, was given life-saving measures by the Kure Beach Police Department, fire department and New Hanover County EMS, after attempting to rescue children caught in a rip current. Embry died at the scene, according to a KBPD release.

First-responders were called to the N. Avenue Beach access in regards to distressed swimmers. Multiple bystanders, as well as the Kure Beach Fire Department attempted to safely bring the children to shore. Many citizen rescuers had to be treated on the beach, while another was taken to the hospital for observation.

WECT reported Embry was a fine arts teacher at Ashley High School (she was the orchestra director) and attended Lifepoint Church in Leland. The church announced her passing in a Facebook post this morning, saying she went into cardiac arrest after pulling the swimmers ashore and could not be resuscitated.

“The Kure Beach Police Department commends the heroic efforts and sacrifice made by Jessica Embry, bystanders, and rescuers,” KPD stated in a release. “Jessica Embry, along with all involved, are credited for saving the lives of the children.”

Comments or tips can be sent to

Live Briefs are offered for free, but if you’d like to read more from Port City Daily staff, subscribe now and then sign up for our newsletter, Wilmington Wire, and get the headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email