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Mon June 26, 2006
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Strong rip currents are keeping lifeguards at Wrightsville beach busy. And the National Weather Service has issued another warning about powerful rip currents for again today.
A large southeast swell, southeast onshore winds and a new moon are the ingredients for powerful rip tides.
In Wrightsville Beach, lifeguards have rescued more than 50 people since Thursday. Dave Baker is Director of Ocean Rescue at Wrightsville Beach.
Rip currents kill annually, in the nation, approximately a hundred people. Sharks only kill, worldwide, on the average annually, five. So when we tell people there are sharks, they stay out of the water, but if we tell them about rip currents, they just laugh at us.
Baker urges people to check with lifeguards before getting in the water. And if they do take a dip, swim in front of a lifeguard stand.
Rip currents are particularly strong a few hours on either side of low tide.