WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - School is out and summer is here and that means everyone is going to be at the beach more often.
The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department and Ocean Rescue prepare for the summertime hustle during the winter, when it’s slower. Lt. John Skull with Wrightsville Beach Fire Department says Memorial Day weekend is typically when they see an increase in ocean rescues.
“In the wintertime we tend to have a lower beach population, so we’re able to train and focus on typical EMS response activities. We train on our usual fire and suppression activities and then as we get closer to the warmer months, we begin to train our lifeguards,” said Lt. Skull.
Rip currents are their most common issue, fire officials note, followed by uneducated swimmers. They’ve had 40 rescues so far this season in Wrightsville Beach alone.
They also plan to add more lifeguards as the summer gets busier.
“We have anywhere from 17 to 20 lifeguards a day on duty and on the holiday weekend, we’ll put two guards on every stand,” said Lt. Skull.
Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Daniel House says they will also be increasing patrol throughout the summer.
Police also note an increase in citations. The most common one being alcohol related issues on the beach and animals on the beach.