RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With school out and North Carolinians thinking about the beach, federal and state officials are warning beachgoers to be wary of the dangers of rip currents.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is designating this week as Rip Current Awareness Week in an effort to heighten public awareness of rip currents at surf beaches.
Rip currents are strong narrow currents moving away from shore. On average, more people die every year from rip currents than from shark attacks. According to the U.S. Lifesaving Association, 80 percent of surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents, and more than 100 people die annually from drowning in rip currents.