As we approach a new season, we approach new beach conditions -especially surrounding the hurricane season. The further we get from summer, the more intense the ocean becomes. This is great news for water sports enthusiasts, like surfers. For the rest of us, this means we need to be extra cognizant of beach safety.
The warm water temperatures during the fall are inviting and a great way to cool off from the lingering heat. With the conditions come and increased risk of rip currents. We want you to remain safe and so we’ve provided a refresher on helpful tips for staying safe in the ocean!
Don't do it alone. Besides, the beach is more fun with a friend, anyway ;)
Never fight a current, either ride it out or swim parallel to the shore, but never try to outswim it. Ask the lifeguard on duty if there are any present in the area.
Yellow flags warn of moderate rip currents. If there is a yellow flag placed near shoreline, it is indicating rip current present and to not swim near that flag.
Red flags mean no swimming. Period.
Purple flags warn of potentially harmful sea life spotted in the nearby waters (jellyfish blooms, excessive shark, or ray sightings). These flags have only been employed by Kill Devil Hills at the time of this posting, so always be mindful and aware.
Pro-tip: Remember to shuffle feet across ocean floor to prevent ray stings and crab pinches.
Boogie boards are ubiquitous on the OBX. They are found at many vacation homes and at nearly any public place that sells goods. Pull into a local retailer, grocer, or pharmacist, and you’ll more than likely be able to purchase one. No excuses here ;)
Not as commonly mentioned or referred to, but this is imperative for a safe time on the beach. Shore break refers to waves breaking on the beach near the shoreline. These are dangerous because they're easy to get caught up in and can result in serious injury.
Dare County has the following posted life guarded beaches. Note that this fall, some towns have extended coverage through the end of September.
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day with a roving patrol through October 15 - Abalone Street, Bonnett Street, Enterprise Street, Epstein Street Bathhouse, Gulfstream Street, Hargrove Street, Indigo Street, Juncos Street.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day with a roving patrol through October 15 - Helga Street, Hayman Street, Eden Street, Avalon Drive, 5th Street,3rd Street, 2nd Street, 1st Street, Coral Drive, Asheville Drive, Woodmere Avenue, Carlow Avenue, Ocean Bay Boulevard, Oregon Avenue, Baum Street, Clark Street, Martin Street, Atlantic Street, Ocean Acres Beach Access (Neptune Drive), Lake Drive, Eighth Street.
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day with a roving patrol - Byrd Street, Eckner Street, Lillian Street, Kitty Hawk Bath House.
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day - Hillcrest Drive & Chicahauk Trail
From Mid-June through Mid-August - E. Dogwood Trail & 142 Ocean Boulevard
Handicapped Beach Accesses - Oceanview Loop & Hillcrest Drive
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. May 24through September 9 - Caffeys Inlet, Sprigtail Drive, Barrier Island Station, Schooner Ridge Drive, Christopher Drive, Four Seasons June 13 through August 10 - Ocean Pines, Widgeon Drive, Snow Geese, Dune Road, Scarborough Lane, Plover Drive.
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day - Coquina Beach (across from the Bodie Island Lighthouse site), Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach (adjacent to the Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site), Frisco Beach (located just south of Frisco Village), Ocracoke Beach (1 1/2-miles south of the NPS campground OR 1/2-mile north of Ocracoke Village)
Please note, should conditions on the beach change, stand locations may be shifted. Please heed words of caution, advisories, and/or the flying of red (no swimming) flags. They are issued for your safety." - Dare County
Thanks to #LoveTheBeachRespectTheOcean for the informative videos and for putting forth great PSAs on ocean safety!