Carolina Beach keeping lifeguards throughout weekend, may extend season

Lifeguards watch the beaches at Carolina Beach. (Photo: WWAY)

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Carolina Beach is going to keep their seasonal lifeguards at least throughout this upcoming weekend and may extend the season in the future.

During last night’s city council meeting, Fire Chief Alan Griffin said the warmer than normal temperatures and high rip current days led to the decision to keep a small group of lifeguards available.

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Griffin said because the lifeguards are seasonal, many have gotten winter jobs, so they’re left with between six and eight guards in “response mode” riding on the beach in pickup trucks.

“Not ideal, but better than not having guards out,” Griffin said.

Griffin said it can be a challenge depending on the fire department, because they can be on a fire or medical call when a beach call comes in.

Griffin said that’s why they’re holding on to the lifeguards for another week or so to ensure the department is doing everything they can until the rip currents calm down.

Extending the season could be something that’s considered in the future during budget talks.

They’re seeing more families on the beach past Labor Day. Griffin said there’s more children in year-round schools across the state, many of whom are on intersession around October 1.

Griffin said they’re seeing an influx of both year-round and home school children on the beach after the holiday, so they want to be able to provide them with protection.

Kure Beach is also reconsidering their lifeguard season after two men died in early October.