With lifeguards gone, risks of rip currents still remains

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – With big crowds expected at beaches in the East, people may be missing a familiar sight. Lifeguards have already called it a year in some coastal towns like Atlantic Beach.

City officials tell WNCT lifeguards generally leave the season when crowds diminish or the city stops charging for parking.

With lifeguards down, beach officials warn swimmers to be especially careful when it comes to rip currents.

Lt. J. Scott Bell with the Atlantic Beach Fire Department said if you notice someone in trouble, always call 911. He also said you should try and rescue someone without some sort of flotation device for yourself.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for that out at the beach,” he said. “Typically everything from rafts to boogie boards, surf boards, inner tubes, and the top of a cooler. Anything that will float.”

Bell said they will still go out on the beach during the holiday weekend to survey the waters. He reminds people to not try and fight rip currents, but rather swim parallel to the shoreline until you’re out of the current.

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