‘We’re ready for it’: NC beaches make changes to prevent drownings

Yellow flags flying at lifeguard stands in Wrightsville Beach, indicating a moderate risk of rip currents (Photo: WWAY)

NORTH CAROLINA (WSOC) — If you’re planning a trip to the beach this summer, you may notice some changes to help keep you safe.

In areas around Atlantic Beach, you will see more warning flags. They are being added every eighth of a mile along the main strand.

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Also, you won’t see any green flags, which may have given people a false sense of security because the ocean is always unpredictable.

Lifeguards will also start patrolling earlier in the season, weeks ahead of the usual Memorial Day start.

“It’s a play-by-ear kind of thing and if it happens to kick off early, we’re ready for it,” Atlantic Beach Fire Department Chief Mike Simpson said. “We’re prepared for it and there’s a plan.”

The chief wants all visitors to familiarize themselves on safety before coming to the beach.