High risk of rip currents at the Oceanfront, Outer Banks beaches

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by Eric Kane & Kaila DiRenzio, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 26 at 5:45 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Strong winds will keep red flags posted at lifeguard stands along the Oceanfront and Outer Banks beaches as Hurricane Cristobal threatens to bring more rip currents.

Lifeguards had to pull ten people to shore Monday after a weekend full of similar rescues, according to the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service.  One person was transported to the hospital after nearly drowning, but is expected to recover.
 
"We're keeping everybody in really close and tight. Knee deep so they don't get sucked up in rip currents," First Commander Marc Levine said.

If you do decide to go in the water, Levine said to make sure you  know what lifeguard stand you went in near because the  current will drift you down further from where you first went in.
 
He also added that no rescues needed to be made Tuesday at the Oceanfront.
 
"Unfortunately, it can tax even the best swimmers that have a hard time swimming against it," said Lee Throckmorton, a First Lieutenant with VBLS. "Once they get exhausted, panic sets in.  That's when there's a problem."
 
33 lifeguards are stationed along the resort area with six other supervisors patrolling on ATVs to find people struggling in the water, Throckmorton said.
 
VBLS is keeping a close eye on Hurricane Cristobal, which threatens to bring along more rip currents.
 
"That [Cristobal] is going to change things a little. As long as this wind stays the way it is, then it's going to stay red flags and it's going to be heavy surf," said Throckmorton.
 
Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Morehead City, NC advised high threat of rip currents and dangerous shore break from Cape Hatteras to Manteo.
 

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