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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The calm ocean waters beachgoers experienced this weekend are quickly bringing dangerous rip currents and violent waves as Hurricane Katia churns in the Atlantic.

Wrightsville Beach lifeguards put up red flags today meaning “No Swimming.” They also advised swimmers to follow the rule of “knee deep is too deep.”

Rip currents are stronger when the surf is rough, like during high onshore winds or when a strong hurricane is far offshore.

“No, we’re not going to go out very far,” beach visitor Kevin Trevisan said. “We have just have boogie boards today. We’re going to go out, and there’s lifeguards there, so we feel pretty safe. If they were really big and breaking we’d probably go up to my knees at least, but I wouldn’t go too far out. I’d play it safe definitely.”

Red flags will be flying at area beaches this week as lifeguards urge beachgoers to stay out of the water.

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