NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – As temperatures rise, more and more people are using the ocean as a way to stay cool. It’s important to understand the dangers of rip currents before diving in to ensure a safe and enjoyable time at the beach.
Each year, NOAA designates the first full week of June as national Rip Current Awareness Week.
According to US Coast Guard Sector NC, there have been more rip current fatalities in the Carolinas since 2000 than all other weather related hazards, including lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding.
There have been 72 deaths since 2000 attributed to rip currents, the most recent being an 18-year-old in Myrtle Beach in April 2011.