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To avoid trouble while swimming in the ocean:
Always take Red Flags seriously. Red Flags on the beach indicate that ocean conditions are not safe for swimming, and all forms of water activity are prohibited. Entry in the water while Red Flags are flown is considered a misdemeanor and can result in a maximum fine of $500 or up to thirty days imprisonment. Surfboards at least five feet in length and equipped with a leash are exempt.
Rip currents are powerful currents of water moving away from the shore and account for over 80% of ocean rescues. Rip currents can sometimes be identified by a noticeable difference in water color, a gap in the breaking waves, a channel of churning choppy water, or a line of sea foam, seaweed, or debris steadily floating out to sea. Often there is no apparent indication of rip currents, which magnifies their hazard. If you get caught in a rip current:
Lifeguards are stationed at certain public accesses throughout the area from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Most beaches also have roving lifeguards on ATVs. Visit our Beach Access page to locate lifeguard stations. Please be aware that lifeguarded locations are subject to change without notice. Visit OuterBanks.org for the most current information.
Blue skies and sunny days at the beach are the perfect ingredients for a great vacation. However, if you aren’t careful, the summer sun can be too much of a good thing. The sun’s rays are especially intense during summer months and are further intensified by the reflection off the ocean and sand. Follow these tips to avoid sun damage and heat-related illness:
Jellyfish are most commonly found in warm waters like those of the Outer Banks in the late summer months. They can be difficult to distinguish when swimming in water due to their transparent bodies and can sting if touched even when washed ashore. Jellyfish stings occur from contact with the tentacles and typically result in red welts, stinging, and itching.
If you are stung by a jellyfish:
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