SC student drowns in Outer Banks
North Carolina officials confirmed a body found Sunday night near Avon, N.C., was a teen from Elizabeth.
The body recovered was 17-year-old Jimmy Bittner, according to Chester Bailey with the Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Bittner was a senior at South Central High School at Elizabeth.
‘He was an outstanding young man,’ David Beaver, principal at SCHS, said, also commenting that Bittner had told him he didn’t work in school as hard as he should have early on. However, ‘he was going to be a very productive adult in the community.’
South Central students and faculty, which returned from a two-week fall break on Monday, have been coping with Bittner’s death as well as the loss of math teacher and volleyball coach Patty Shaffer.
‘I told the students it’s like climbing a mountain; you take it one step at a time,’ Beaver said. ‘We’re trying to get back to normal as much as possible.’
Officials located Bittner’s body after a search that had been ongoing since Bittner and a friend were swept away by currents in the ocean south of the Rodanthe Pier on Thursday. Bittner’s friend was able to swim to safety.
Bittner ‘was so young and had so much to give,’ Beaver said. ‘It’s a sad loss for the community and everybody who knew him. … He was well respected by his classmates and everyone seemed to like him. He was pleasant to be around.’