Lifeguards on alert at Virginia Beach Oceanfront

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by Joe Flanagan

WVEC.com

Posted on July 6, 2013 at 7:06 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 6 at 7:21 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- When the lifeguards held their morning muster in Virginia Beach, Deputy Chief Tom Gill reminded them of the four deaths that happened along the beaches of North and South Carolina.

The beaches are still crowded on this fourth of July holiday weekend. The rip currents are not a real threat here, but they are much higher along the Outer Banks and Gill says swimmers need to know that.

"And it creates a channel of water almost a flume of water going backwards and you can't fight it.  You either swim out of it by swimming parallel to the shore or you should be swimming at a lifeguarded beach and raise your hands wave for help because that's really your only two options there," said Deputy Chief Tom Gill of the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service.

Swimming along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront there are also other obstacles to keep in mind.
"Holes, we’ve got a long shore current the water is moving from south to north a lot of times and people who are on a sandbar onetime might be off that sandbar the next and don't even realize it," said Gill.

One weather factor to beware of is a strong west wind.

"People get on rafts don't even think of it and that wind driven will take people out beyond their comfort zone.  As we say do not float where you cannot swim," added Gill.

Gill told us the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service dealt with 140 lost children on Thursday and over 70 yesterday.

 

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