We have made the decision to change the beach warning flag today to RED for a high risk of rip currents, which differs from the National Weather Service official forecast. We did this because we just had a water rescue near the 2500 block of West Beach Drive that involved a young man being pulled out by a strong rip current. The rip is visible in the photographs below and appears almost as a river flowing back into the ocean.
The young man today was very lucky. Not only did a person surfing nearby respond to help him, that man was Tristan, a former Oak Island Water Rescue team member, surfer, expert swimmer, and all-around great guy. He responded appropriately for his advanced skill level, by grabbing a boogie board and bringing the young man back to the beach, while others called 911 and kept observing the scene and relaying that information to the 911 dispatcher, and us. We never recommend untrained people attempt a rip current rescue, and at a minimum you must take a flotation device with you, like Tristan did. Thank you Tristan!!
So please be careful out there today. We know there are strong rip currents present and our advice is to avoid going in the water until conditions improve.