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Police: Father dies after saving sons from ocean

Published On: Jul 16 2013 11:32:26 AM CDT   Updated On: Jul 16 2013 06:45:26 PM CDT

A father who saved his sons from the waters of a Carteret County beach has passed away, investigators said.

According to Emerald Isle Police, 39-year-old Andy W. Clegg, of Columbus, Ohio, was at the 700 block of Ocean Drive on July 14, when he noticed his sons having trouble swimming from the water to shore. The boys are 9 and 11 years old.

Clegg went into the water and was able to get his sons out safely, police said. But the father then began having complications. According to witnesses and family members, Clegg had to be pulled from the water by his father-in-law. By the time Clegg was on shore, he was unresponsive, police said.

Cindy Lawton, a registered nurse, said she was sitting on the beach with her future daughter-in-law, a nurse practitioner, when Clegg was being pulled from the water.

"Both of us jumped up, knowing that it was a body, and [we] just ran over as fast as we could, and just immediately started CPR," Lawton said. "We were talking to him. He was trying, you could see him trying to breathe."

An EMS crew took Clegg to Carteret General Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. He was then transferred to Carolina East Medical Center, where he died Monday morning.

Police said they were told that a heart issue led to Clegg's passing. But further examinations are needed to confirm the exact cause of death.

"Our hearts go to the family- lovely, lovely family," Lawton said.