Wrightsville Beach was packed today, and everyone was feeling the effects of hurricane Bertha. Surfers in the 4th annual Reef Sweetwater surf contest say the rough seas made for a perfect day at the beach. Twelve year old, A.C. Hoover is one of hundreds of surfers competing in the Reef Sweetwater surfing competition. He says the waves from hurricane Bertha help him gain speed and pull off better tricks. "It's perfect out here," said Hoover. "It's really a good ride, it's really intense and it's really big." While the rough water and big waves may mean a better ride for surfers, the conditions could spell danger for those who want to swim and play. Joann and Stan Godwin wanted to spend a relaxing day on the beach with their kids, but the high rip current risk is making it tough. "It's kind of wearing mom and dad out running up and down the beach chasing the kids in and out of the water," said Mr. Godwin. Ocean rescue captain, Jeremy Owens says anyone going into the water needs to be extra cautious, especially if they are not used to the powerful waves. "The tourists that we get down here aren't experienced with the ocean. They don't understand the currents. They don't understand our surf, so we really advise them to stay out of the water and use extreme caution," said Owens. "What we're doing is flying red flags today and we're adding more lifeguards to areas of the beach where we're seeing more crowds." Even with additional safety precautions, the Godwin family won't be taking any chances. "We know the risks, and know it's nothing to take lightly, so this trip we are going to stay waist deep or less," said Godwin. If you do end up in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore to get out. The Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue plans to have additional lifeguards on duty throughout the weekend because of the rough seas and number of people on the beach watching the surfing competition.
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