A Marine based at Camp Lejeune drowned Saturday off North Carolina’s Emerald Isle, Marine Corps officials confirmed.
Lance Cpl. Justin A. Hinds, 28, served as an administrative specialist with Alpha Company, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations East.
Emergency services were dispatched to the beach at 4:23 p.m. for a distressed swimmer, according to a press release from the Emerald Isle Police Department. When crews arrived on scene, Hinds’ friends already had pulled him from the water. Emergency medical services and firefighters performed CPR and transported him to Carteret Health Care hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“The sudden loss of LCpl Hinds is absolutely devastating for the entire command,” Col. Scott Conway, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, said in a command release. “Our heartfelt sympathies and prayers are with his family, friends, and fellow Marines during this difficult time."
The Avondale, Arizona, native joined the military in 2011 as a combat engineer with the U.S. Army and deployed to Afghanistan, according to the Marine Corps.
Hinds then joined the Army National Guard in 2014 and joined the Marine Corps in 2016.
His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Meritorious Unit Commendation, Combat Action Ribbon and Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon.
Yellow flag conditions indicated a moderate rip current hazard that day, according to police. Surf conditions were at 3–5 feet.
“My sincere hope is that his loved ones can take some comfort knowing what a profound impact he had on those with whom he served,” Conway said. "He will be missed.”
Andrea Scott is editor of Marine Corps Times. On Twitter: _andreascott.