Ladies and Gents,
I am sad to report that a young 17 year old boy lost his life on Bogue Banks last week while swimming in the ocean. Once again the culprit was a rip current. There are things every person going to the beach should know before entering the water.
Know how to respond if caught in a rip current- If you are coming to the beach and bringing people who do not know this important life-saving technique, take the time to tell them. When caught in a rip current a swimmer should not attempt to swim directly back to shore. He/she should swim parallel to the shoreline until out of the current, and then swim to shore.
Recognize a rip current- Sometimes a rip current is actually recognizable. When you see a calm/flat area in the area on the water where the waves are breaking immediately to the right & left , that is probably a deeper area where the water is moving fast away from the beach. This could be a rip current. Point this out to all in your party when you arrive.
Know where you are on the beach- One of the most critical elements of response by our Paramedics/EMT’s is to deploy them quickly to the right location. You would be surprised by the number of people who do know where on the beach they are located. All of our public beach accesses have a letter assigned as an identifying marker (see the map below). For our two large eastern private accesses: Ocean Park is at 99 Dogwood Circle, and Hammer Park is between 101 and 103 Bay Street. For everyone else: if you have will have friends and guests to your homes ensure they know the street address on Salter Path Road where they are located.