08/12/08

Hatteras Island Beach Safety Made Simple

There’s nothing like kicking off the flip flops and jumping in for a refreshing Atlantic dip. A few simple safety precautions and tips are all you’ll need to ensure a fun and sunny beach day.

Lifeguarded Beaches

Lifeguarded beaches are located in Buxton by the old lighthouse site, (follow the brown National Park Service signs), and on Ocracoke Island. There are also lifeguards in the Seashore at Coquina Beach, located across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse. It is a great place to stop on your way to Hatteras Island. All lifeguards are seasonal, so check out the National Park Service website, http://www.nps.gov/caha/ before your arrival to determine hours of operation. You can also call (252) 473-2111 to check dates & shifts of guard service.

Rip Currents

Rip currents or Rip tides are created by breaks in a sand bar off shore and can be dangerous. Rip currents are channels of water, usually 10 ft. – 50 ft. wide, that pull out into the ocean.

If you find yourself stuck in a rip current, the most important thing to remember is not to panic. Also, DO NOT try to swim back into shore, as a rip current is very powerful and you may become exhausted trying to fight it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore in either direction until you are no longer stuck in the rip current. Then you can begin swimming back to shore.

Before your day at the beach, take a moment to check out the local weather forecast to see if there is a high threat of rip currents. On basic cable, the Weather Channel is channel 16.

Remember for ocean rescue or any other emergency, always dial 911. Be sure to make a note of which street or ramp you’re at in case of emergency.

Rip Currents Awareness

What are rip currents? Rip currents are channels of water that develop in an opening in a sand bar. Though relatively narrow near the beach, rip currents can increase to over 50 yards in width as they extend up to 1000 feet offshore. The velocity of the water can be as high as 5 mph. […]

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