Rip current alert still in effect for New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties’ beaches

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Lifeguards with Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue raised red flags prepared for dangerous conditions on Wednesday morning. Photo by Hannah Leyva.
Lifeguards with Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue raised red flags prepared for rough water conditions on Wednesday morning. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

A rip current alert is still in effect Wednesday for all beaches in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties. According to the National Weather Service office in Wilmington, it will remain in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday night.

The rough water conditions are being caused by Hurricane Gaston, a major storm currently more than 1,000 miles away in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, according to NWS Wilmington meteorologists.

In Wrightsville Beach, the town’s ocean rescue crew once again raised red flags above the lifeguard stands on Wednesday morning, indicating that conditions are dangerous for swimmers, particularly for those who are inexperienced. While lifeguards cannot keep people out of the water, beach goers are asked to be cautious.

According to weather and and fire department officials, the best way to get out of a rip current is to swim parallel to the shore instead of against the current, which tires people out, leaving them more susceptible to drowning. Find out more about rip current safety here.