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Police: Foreign exchange student drowns at Emerald Isle

By Christy Andrews
Published On: Jun 13 2013 03:51:11 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 14 2013 02:44:28 PM CDT
EMERALD ISLE, CARTERET COUNTY -

Police said an exchange student downed in Emerald Isle Thursday, making it the second drowning in Carteret County in less than a month.

According to investigators, 18-year-old Marcel Albu was pulled from the water near the 8600 block of Ocean View Drive at about 11:21 a.m. Thursday. The victim was a Moldovian student who took classes in the United States as part of a student exchange program.

Witnesses told police they saw Albu floating in the water, as if he was snorkeling. But after seeing the victim being rolled in the surf and not responding, the witnesses pulled him out of the water.

"We saw my nephew and another guy that we didn't recognize, and they were running up the beach and they kept pointing out," said Phil Burkhouse, who is vacationing at the beach. "When they hooked him under the arms, then I could see it was a body."

The Albu was taken to Carteret General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to police. Officers worked with the U.S. State Department and the Moldova Embassy in Washington, D.C. to notify the family.

Thursday's incident is the second drowning in Carteret County in less than a month. According to investigators, a rip current pulled 19-year-old ECU student Braxton Horton underwater on June 1. His body was recovered near the Trinity Center in Pine Knoll Shores about 24 hours later.