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Three swimmers caught in rip current off Carolina Beach


Three swimmers were caught in a rip current near the beach access in the 1600 block of South Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach. Shortly before, Shelly Davis was sitting next to them on the beach. “Before I could say anything, they were way out there. I was going to tell them, ‘Don’t go out there, there’s a red flag, it’s a red flag day’,” said Davis. “A lifeguard came and I pointed out there and he stopped and he took off and radioed more lifeguards and all of a sudden tons of lifeguards, EMS, the police, everybody; it took them a while to get in.”

Jake Leber was one of five lifeguards that came to the rescue. “I was just trying to calm everybody down and calm myself down. And get them in as fast as we could.”

Davis described, “One guy they brought in on a surfboard that was not breathing and they couldn’t get his heart to start.”

Davis said a problem she sees, is many people who visit Carolina Beach aren’t familiar with flag warnings. “You can’t see the flags because they’re down in the sand, and they should be at the top of the lifeguard station, where people can see them.”

If you can’t see the red flag warning, taking a dip in the ocean, may not seem like such a bad idea. In the next couple of days, beaches are going to be packed with people celebrating Memorial Day weekend. Simon Sanders, Ocean Rescue director, warns people about rip currents. “You can recognize a rip current usually by foaming water, that’s moving offshore or away from the beach. Often times it discolored; it’s brownish colored water. If you find yourself caught in one, swim parallel to the shore, do not swim into shore. When you recognize you’re out of it, start making your way back into shore.”

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videoA beautiful start to the Memorial Day weekend turned quick for a group of swimmers. Three swimmers got caught in a rip current at Carolina Beach. It just so happened, Friday was the first day lifeguards were on duty.

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