While living near the coast has its benefits, especially this time of year, it also presents some risks! This past weekend, WWAY reported that Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue responded to more than 35 water rescues !
We here at Bailey & Company feel it's important to make sure that you and your family are prepared to enjoy time at the beach and in the water fearlessly by following the tips we've provided below from both Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue and the National Weather Service!
First, educate yourself on the potential threat of rip currents. Rip currents account for over 100 deaths annually just on our country's beaches alone. These dangerous currents can occur at any beach with breaking waves. Click the link below for a quick webinar on Rip Current Awareness! Better yet, cut out the graphic we've provided below and keep it in your beach bag or in the car! Share it with your kiddos right before you go out to the beach so that they can have fun learning about water safety too and how to recognize rip currents!
Second, learn the color-coded signal flags at the beach, provided by your local Ocean Rescue Squad! The National Weather Service issues a Surf Zone Forecast that includes the rip current risk for area beaches. The Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Squad flies colored signal flags from each lifeguard stand indicating the water conditions observed in the area. While these can be found on signs at the beach, keep a copy of this in your beach bag too! It makes a great game to "quiz" the little ones on the drive to the beach!
Third, we encourage you to exercise caution when swimming, no matter what the conditions appear to be!
Regardless of the color of the signal flags displayed, hazards may be present in the ocean at any time. Rip currents can form suddenly and other dangerous conditions could exist. Underestimating the potential hazards associated with the ocean can be risky. We like the saying, "If in doubt, don't go out."
One of the most effective precautions that beach-goers can take is swim at a beach protected by lifeguards. Statistics show that the chance of drowning at a beach protected by USLA affiliated lifeguards is 1 in 18 million. Lucky for us in the Wilmington area, the Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue Squad is a USLA certified agency!
We know several of our clients who enjoy time on the water and we hope these quick tips will help you and your family enjoy it even more with little to no worries and inspire you to seek more knowledge on Ocean Safety to keep our local Rescue numbers lower than this past weekend!