Lifeguards respond to multiple rip current rescues along area beaches


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Ocean rescue crews have been busy the last few days as multiple rip current rescues have been reported along New Hanover County beaches.

WWAY captured a water rescue live as it happened near the Atlantic Towers in Carolina Beach Wednesday afternoon.

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Carolina Beach Fire Department tells us a woman was caught in a rip current while boogie-boarding.

Several bystanders tried to rescue her before firefighters arrived and put a jet ski in the water. Those bystanders were pulled out of the water unharmed as was the victim caught in the current.

Fire officials say rip currents are even more dangerous now before lifeguards take to the stands along area beaches. They say good Samaritans sometimes only add to the danger.

“If you’re on the beach and you see someone panicking definitely call 911 immediately,” Fire Chief Alan Griffin said. “If they are caught in a rip, the best thing to do is to try and coach them out of it. If you try and enter that water you’re going to be in the same rip they’re in. And even our guards that are seasoned swimmers tend to struggle to swim inside of a rip.”

Griffin says Kure Beach Fire also aided in the rescue.

He says lifeguards will be in place on all New Hanover County beaches come Memorial Day weekend. A general rule rescue officials recommend is for swimmers to float in a rip current and not fight it.