Water rescue warns of rip currents, Portuguese Man o’ War at area beaches

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Oak Island Water Rescue is flying red and purple flags Friday, June 5, 2020. (Photo: Oak Island Water Rescue)

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The Oak Island Water Rescue is warning beachgoers of rip currents and a jellyfish-like creature with a powerful sting.

The OKI Water Rescue says don’t let the blue sky fool you as a high rip current risk is in place for Brunswick and Horry counties Friday. There’s a moderate threat for Pender and New Hanover beaches.

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OKI Water Rescue says red and purple flags are flying to warn people of the hazards. The red flag indicates a high rip current warning, and purple means there is dangerous marine life in the area.

Since late May, there have been many reports of Portuguese Man o’ War, a jellyfish-like creature, washing ashore along the NC and SC coasts.

“There are still large swarms of them in the water and washing up on the beach. Always stay WELL clear of them and their powerful sting,” the OKI Water Rescue wrote on Facebook. “They can have tentacles over 20′ long that remain active even after the jelly is dead.”