Community seeks prayers for teenage girl fighting for life after rescue from Emerald Isle waters

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. — An 18-year-old boy died and a 17-year-old girl is fighting for her life after they got caught in the rip tide in the waters at Emerald Isle.

Mary Paige Mericle, a 17-year-old from Raleigh, was swimming with 18-year-old Ian Lewis on Friday when the situation turned dangerous.

Emerald Isle Fire Department responded to a distress call at Emerald Isle beach and found Mericle.

She was taken to Carteret General Hospital and later moved to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville in serious condition.

Crews were unable to find Lewis until 3:30 a.m. Monday near the 2800 block of the Emerald Isle Beach Stand. He was dead.

“They believe Paige was under water for 14 minutes,” according to a post on the Emerald Isle, N.C. Facebook page on Monday. “She isn’t awake, has brain damage, is in critical condition and slipping away… but we can all pray for a miracle.”

The community is calling for prayers for the girl and her parents.

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