N.C. beaches downgrade to yellow flags

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) —Flags flying at Atlantic Beach were a new color Friday.

Dangerous rip currents subsided, changing each warning flags along the Crystal Coast from red to yellow.

Friday was the first day a yellow flag has flown since several drownings last weekend.

Head lifeguard Daniel Pead said it is important for beachgoers to pay attention to the flags all season long.

“Obviously, recently, it’s been a little bit more concern about what the flag means, but typically I don’t think a lot of people pay attention to it,” said Daniel Pead, head lifeguard.

“I know the red means you probably have to be real careful out there, but to be honest with you I don’t know what all the flags mean,” said Bridget Peele, a beach goer.

Life guards hope people notice the flags before they notice the beach.

“I don’t think that the younger people do,” said Samaria Rehana, another beach goer. “I think they’re here with their friends, and they just go straight to laying down.”

Beach goer Adam McIntosh said those not from the area might not realize the flags’ significance.

“I bet most people don’t, especially if they’re not from a water area,” said McIntosh. “You know, if they come from out of town, and they aren’t on the water very often. They probably don’t pay attention to it.”

Pead said lifeguards will gladly take the time to explain the water conditions.

“I also recommend here at the Circle, if you have a question, go to the center stand because there is typically more than one lifeguard on that stand,” said Pead.

Calmer waters aren’t expected everywhere.

The National Weather Service said there is a high threat of rip currents Friday for area beaches from Bogue Inlet to Cape Hatteras on Friday.

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