High risk of dangerous rip currents today

Published 12:03 am Monday, July 23, 2018

The National Weather Service has issued a beach hazard statement through the day Monday for dangerous rip currents and rough surf.

Moderate to strong southwesterly winds combined with a southeasterly swell will lead to conditions ripe for rip currents, strong shore break and strong longshore currents. Wave heights of 4 to 6 feet are possible.

Shore break occurs when waves break directly on the beach. Themost common injuries with strong shore break are neck and back injuries, which most often occur when the powerful surf throws aswimmer or surfer head first into the bottom.

“It is extremely important to protect your head and neck whenever you are inbreaking waves by keeping your hands in front of you at all times,” the weather service said.

Strong longshore currents can sweep swimmers and surfers into ripcurrents, piers, jetties and other hazardous areas. In many casesthe longshore current is strong enough to prevent swimmers frombeing able to keep their feet on the bottom, making it difficult toreturn to shore.

Eight people have died on the Outer Banks in ocean-related fatalities since April, three in July alone.

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