ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – Despite the coronavirus pandemic, people are heading to the beach.
Towns along the coast have been making sure to warn people on social media for the chance of rip currents.
However, the town of Atlantic Beach has responded to 24 water rescues this season. The latest one was Thursday.
“They were out swimming, they were struggling in a rip current. Lifeguard went out and caught them, pulled them back in. So pretty cut and dry, but it was a very dangerous situation for the patient,” said Deputy Chief Casey Arthur at the Atlantic Beach Fire Department.
The swimmers rescued Thursday are reported to be okay. None of the water rescues in Atlantic Beach have resulted in any drownings this year.
It was a different case this time last year. Arthur says there were far more “critically ill patients, drowning incidents.”
According to the National Weather Service, rip currents killed 10 people in North Carolina beaches in 2019. Two of them were in Atlantic Beach.
Arthur says it is rare for a water rescue to happen if people are carrying a floatation device. People can be tossed around by the waves, but a floatation device can keep someone afloat instead of underwater.
Experts recommend to take one with you when you go in the water.