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Rip currents impact beachgoers and business


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- The ocean can be a deadly place when hurricanes in the Atlantic kick up heavy surf and cause rip currents. Signs were posted and red flags flew high along Carolina Beach on Sunday alerting people of the risk. This kept lifeguards on their toes and beach-goers on the sand. The powerful waves did not go unnoticed.

"It's dragging us out," said visitor Jeffery Murphy. "When the waves crash on you, they pull you in and pull you back out."

Zachary Hodges of Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue said they were being more vigilant than ever.

"We're constantly going up and down the beach and making sure people actually heed the flags, and we run into a lot of problems because people come on vacation and they come to the beach to swim and for us to tell them not to is difficult for some people," Hodges said.

On days like Sunday when the ocean can be ferocious extra staffing is needed to patrol the beach and keep everyone safe. Some lifeguards are even being asked to come back from school to help out. However, there is a silver lining. Traffic to some of the shops at the boardwalk is up because people are being told to stay out of the water.

Kimberly Hull works at a henna tattoo shop on the boardwalk in Carolina Beach. She said the red flags are bringing in customers.

"It's definitely a very very good impact on us, because if they aren't going to be on the beach, they're going to be in the stores and enjoying the boardwalk that we have here, and with henna tattoos you can't be in the water for a few hours anyway," Hull said.

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