Oak Island Water Rescue encourages all beach goers to check the local rip current hazard before going swimming in the ocean. It could save you or your loved one's life! You can find the latest current rip warning level, which is updated every 15 minutes, on Oak Island Water Rescue's website. Oak Island Water Rescue also explains the various risk levels and how they are denoted on this page.
The Danger of Rip Currents
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves.
If you become caught in a rip current, yell for help and remain calm. Do not exhaust yourself and stay afloat while waiting for help. If you have to swim out of a rip current, swim parallel to shore and back toward the beach when possible. Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current as you will tire quickly.
What to do When Someone is Caught in a Rip Current
While Oak Island does not have lifeguards, if you see someone caught in a rip current immediately call 911. Do not try to save the person in the water yourself but rather throw a flotation device in the water and let the rip current pull it out to the person in need. Professional water rescue members will arrive to the scene quickly to save the person in need.
Watch the video below to learn more about spotting rip currents, enduring rip currents and more.