Pine Knoll Shores Mayor calls for regional flag system at Crystal Coast beaches


North Carolina has seen more drowning deaths on its coast than all of 2018.

On Sunday, one man died after a water rescue at Pine Knoll Shores.

Wednesday morning, Mayor Ken Jones called for a universal flag system across all Crystal Coast beaches. 

In Pine Knoll Shores, there are green, yellow, red, and black flags. 

The black flag is unique to the town because no other beach in the area use them. 

If a black flag is flying, swimmers are prohibited from going in the ocean.

Just 12 miles down the coast, Emerald Isle uses double-red flags to indicate the same thing. 

When both flags are waving, swimmers could be fined if found in the ocean. 

Town Mayor Ken Jones said the black flag has a stronger meaning. 

“I mean if you don’t know that black flag means death, I don’t know what to tell you. But Emerald Isle has gone to a different flag system all together If you weren’t confused before, you might be now,” said Jones. 

But to avoid confusion and ensure safety, he plans to speak with officials in neighboring towns to work toward having the same flag system. 

“We need to work closer with the other towns on the island, we need to work as an island,” said Jones.  

The Atlantic Beach Fire Department tells 9OYS they do not have a flag that prohibits or cites people from being in the ocean when wave conditions are rough. 


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