EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The rip current risk is high along the North Carolina coast right now.

Coastal towns in Eastern North Carolina are warning beachgoers to avoid swimming altogether. Hurricane Earl has passed Bermuda and is heading north. However, strong ocean waves from the storm are creating rip currents that are being seen up and down the state’s coast.

Red flags are flying high above the beach strand in Emerald Isle are likely to remain in effect through the weekend.

The ocean rescue lifeguard supervisor for the town says they will have an increased lifeguard presence on the beach this week because of the hazardous conditions.

“If we see somebody going into the water, we’ll just kind of pull aside and just be like, hey, we’re flying red flies today, which means that we advise go swimming due to the strong rip currents,” said Rachel Neider, Ocean Rescue Lifeguard supervisor. “Then we’ll answer any questions that they have about rip currents.”

Some tips they give out if you do get caught in a rip current are to float, swim parallel to the shore, and stay calm.