May 15, 2020 at 10:38 PM EDT – Updated May 15 at 11:52 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Sunset Beach opened Friday for all activities and the Beach Patrol is ready for the risk of rip currents.
Flags on the Beach Patrol all-terrain vehicles warn swimmers about the level of risk in the water.
“We are putting the advisory out that corresponds with the National Weather Service to hopefully inform and help people make good decisions about swimming and going in the water when the conditions aren’t perfect,” said Sunset Beach Fire Chief Paul Hasenmeier.
A green flag means there is a low risk of rip currents, yellow means moderate, and a red flag is a warning that the surf is dangerous for all swimmers.
Beachgoers are looking out for the warnings.
“We were looking at the news and stuff,” said Christian Redd. “Today wasn’t too bad.”
“I have never seen or been in a rip current,” added Christopher Thomas. “But I’m aware of them. All I know is that you swim parallel to the beach line.”
If you plan to come to Sunset Beach, official guidelines advise you to social distance.
But the dangers of the Coronavirus won’t stop the Beach Patrol from saving someone in need.
“If someone gets into trouble, we’re going out and getting them if our capabilities allow,” said Hasenmeier. “We have a jet ski, we have life jackets, we have rescue equipment, we have good swimmers. If someone gets into trouble, we’re going to get them.”
If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore and not against the rip current.
Continue to float and tread water until you find yourself out of the current–then you can swim back to the beach.
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