Coast Guard offers expert advice if you’re caught in a rip current

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Rip currents can turn a fun day at the beach into a scary disaster.

According to the National Weather Service, in 2019 there have been seven rip current-related deaths in North Carolina and 28 nationwide.

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Jason Gazzillo with the US Coast Guard said we need to keep a few important things in mind if we get caught in a rip current. The most important one is to relax.

“If you think about it when it happens, it happens so fast,” Gazzillo said. “You really wanna stay calm. That’s the main thing. You don’t wanna swim further towards the shore because it’s gonna push you out a little further and tire you out.”

Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue performed a demonstration Thursday morning showing how they prepare for rip current rescues.