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Folks say they'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to rip currents

READ MORE: Folks say they'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to rip currents
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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- In Carolina Beach, summer is here and many people are making their way to the beach. But some folks say the threat of rip currents is keeping them from getting in the water.

It was a busy day on Carolina Beach Monday as many people decided to spend their Memorial Day having fun in the sun.

Beachgoers were weary of the surf though with the threat of dangerous rip currents in the area. Some people chose to sit closer to lifeguard stands for safety.

"I don't know how many lifeguards are out here I guess there are few and far in between so the best thing would be to be by a lifeguard,” beach goer Gina Tildsley.

The swimming danger was reduced Monday to yellow unlike the double red flag that meant no swimming this weekend.

"In a no swimming situation, we are as proactive as we can be to keep people out of the water,” Simon Sanders of Ocean Patrol. “Keep them safe."

Lifeguards and ocean patrol say if you find yourself in a scary situation, the best thing to do is relax.

"If you find yourself in a rip current the biggest thing is to stay calm and swim parallel to the beach,” Sanders said. “They don't usually last that long and you will find yourself by a sandbar."

Many people we spoke with say they decided to stay out of the water this weekend because they would rather be safe than sorry.

Carolina Beach Ocean Patrol says they had about 20 saves this weekend and they expect the number to increase quickly since Beryl is stirring up some rough seas off the coast.

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In a rip? DON'T PANIC!!!

Number one rule and the most difficult to do is to NOT panic. Then swim parallel to the shore. After 40 years of swimming in the ocean, I was caught in my first rip. Next thing I knew, I was over 200 yards out and luckily on a boogie board. There were no lifeguards and nobody could hear me, I couldn't even hear the breakers. I panicked big time. Panic causes your breathing to be erratic and your body to act irrationally, spending all of your energy quickly. It finally spit me out. I got back to shore and could barely stand up. Scared the livin' buhjeezus out of me and I'll never forget it. I know now that remaining calm will get me back to shore even without a board.