Wanted: New Ideas!
Don't miss the latest issue of Coastwatch magazine
Back to News & Events
Irene Expected to Bring Rip Currents
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Posted Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011Coastal visitors are reminded to be vigilant during the current storm season.
In particular, Hurricane Irene may still be hundreds of miles away, but powerful rip currents can precede the actual event. High threats of rip currents are expected today — Thursday, Aug. 25 — along most North Carolina beaches. A moderate threat of rip currents is cited for Currituck County beaches.
For daily rip current forecasts from the National Weather Service, go to:
• Newport/Morehead City (Currituck Beach Light to Surf City, Dare, Hyde, Carteret and Onslow counties) — www.erh.noaa.gov/mhx/RipHazard.html
• Wilmington (Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick counties) — www.erh.noaa.gov/ilm/beach/rip_risk.shtml
• Wakefield (Northern Outer Banks) — www.erh.noaa.gov/er/akq/marine/rip.php
When at the beach:
• Whenever possible, swim at a lifeguard-protected beach.
• Never swim alone.
• Learn how to swim in the surf. It's not the same as swimming in a pool or lake.
• Be cautious at all times, especially when swimming at unguarded beaches. If in doubt, don't go out.
• Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to identify potential hazards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. This is part of their job.
• Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist along side these structures.
• Consider using polarized sunglasses when at the beach. They will help you to spot signatures of rip currents by cutting down glare and reflected sunlight off the ocean's surface.
• Pay especially close attention to children and elderly when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing.
If caught in a rip current:
• Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
• Never fight against the current.
• Think of it like a treadmill that cannot be turned off, which you need to step to the side of.
• Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle — away from the current — towards shore.
• If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
• If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.
If you see someone in trouble, don't become a victim too:
• Get help from a lifeguard.
• If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
• Throw the rip current victim something that floats — a lifejacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball.
• Yell instructions on how to escape.
• Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.
North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast
For a list of all Sea Grant funded projects, leave fields blank and select search. Specify part of a title, a researcher's name and/or select a category from the from the dropdown menu.