Surf City Fire Dept. installs beach flags and floatation devices

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SURF CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – Surf City’s Fire Department is launching its beach condition flag program, providing beach goers tools to avoid dangers and potentially save lives.

For the first time in Surf City, 11 beach access points will have floatation devices and solid colored flags, warning people about the water conditions.

The idea stems from increases in water rescues this year.

“The first few weeks of the summer, we were seeing 40-50 rescues, and typically in a year we see a dozen, in a whole year,” said Surf City Fire Chief Allen Wilson.

People will be able to find beach flags between 13th and 23rd street. Chief Wilson says those areas have been hotspots for water rescues this season.

Signs will explain what each color flag means and floatation devices are also strapped to the side of the staircase for quick access during a rescue.

The town’s fire department is launching these safety measures spotlighting rip currents and beach safety.

“We can teach people how to recognize the risk, how to self-rescue from the rip, so rescue personnel are not even needed,” said Wilson.

The fire chief says if the program is successful, they may expand it in the future.

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