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Oak Island raises red flag, warns beach goers of rip currents

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) - Tourists and locals who flocked to Oak Island today were greeted with a red flag.

According to Oak Island Water Rescue Chief, Tony Young, it’s important to understand the color of each flag.

“If there’s a red, we say, please, just don’t go in the water because the odds are too far against you,” said Young. “If you get caught in a rip current, you’re gonna lose your life.”

Rip currents have claimed two lives in southeastern North Carolina in the last few weeks. Many beach goers are taking the red flag warning seriously, and staying away from deep water.

“I would hope other people who are even stronger swimmers than me wouldn’t go in either, especially with the status and the condition that it is now,” said beach goer, Elijah Atkinson.

Experts say if you’re not a great swimmer to not risk it. But regardless of your swimming training, it’s always best to be safe.

“Anybody should come with a boogie board, a life ring, or even a cooler that they know will seal up real good and float,” said Young.

When heading out to the beaches this weekend, it’s important to keep an eye on the little ones.

“Watch your kids, please watch your kids,” said Young. “Don’t let them get into that water without you being pretty close to them.”

Oak Island, like all Brunswick County beaches, does not have lifeguards.

Oak Island Water Rescue will continue to keep the community posted of the water conditions on its website and social media accounts.

Swimmers need to take care because of the high rip current risk this weekend.
Swimmers need to take care because of the high rip current risk this weekend.(WECT)

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