ripcurrent300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Mon, 07/13/2009 - 11:24am.

It has been a summer of strong rip currents. Lifeguards say they have already claimed the lives of four people at New Hanover County beaches. David Weaver, of Brunswick County, got pulled under water trying to save his daughter and a friend who were caught in a rip on June 27th. He became unconscious and stayed that way until he was taken off life support last week. It happened in Carolina Beach, when lifeguards were off duty. Still, his family wishes they had been better warned by signs or flags. "How many people are going to have to lose their life before you put up a simple sign?" asked widow Sandy Weaver. "We have permanent signs on the lifeguard stands warning about rip currents,” said Carolina Beach head lifeguard Mallory Albritton. “When we get off duty we waive our flags, red flags, signaling that we're off duty and once we're gone it is swim at your own risk." Sandy Weaver said her husband was a strong swimmer who was familiar with the ocean. She said this is a reminder of how powerful the water can be. You should not fight a rip current if you get caught in one - rather swim parallel to the shore until you are out of it.

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