Maria brings rough beach conditions causing numerous rip current rescues

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Maria is moving northward and will be off the coast of North Carolina for a couple days, causing high surf and dangerous rip currents.

Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue reported more than 25 rip current rescues on Saturday.

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Ocean Rescue encourages people to stay out of the water until the seas calm.

“You know, I haven’t really heard anybody say anything. Not too upset, I think, probably, they knew what was going on. People watch the weather, especially in North Carolina this time of year,” said Robin Phillips, who was visiting from Raleigh. “Hope that people use good judgement, and safety is so important anytime you’re near the water, but especially under conditions like this.”

There is a high risk of rip currents and a high surf advisory with waves anywhere from five to nine feet through Tuesday night at area beaches.

Maria is expected to make an eastward turn and head out to sea on Wednesday.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue was fining people for swimming during the high surf conditions. That fine is posted near the pier year round and is not specific to the current conditions nor is it applicable to all areas of the beach. We apologize for the mistake and any confusion.