Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Oak Island first in state to install beach-warning lights

OAK ISLAND — Lights will now alert beach goers of the surf conditions in some areas of Oak Island.

READ MORE: ‘Four deaths this year is so devastating’: The cost of not having lifeguards on Oak Island

Lighted Beach Warning Signs
Four public beach accesses will now illuminate the water conditions in Oak Island. (Courtesy photo)

Oak Island is one of the North Carolina beach towns without lifeguards but utilizes other measures to communicate with tourists what to expect of the currents and waves. The Brunswick County beach town is strengthening its safety measures by installing four new beach warning light signs to add to its flag system already in place.

Public accesses that include the warning lights are:

  • Barbee Boulevard (near the Oak Island Pier)
  • Oak Island Cabana (Middleton Park Complex)
  • 3rd Place East (near S Middleton Ave.)
  • The Point (end of W Oak Island Dr.)

The signs, solar-powered, are automated through a wireless control system and retrieves updates from the National Weather Service via onboard data receivers. It will illuminate double red to inform of closed waters, single red for high hazard, yellow for medium, green for low and purple for stinging marine life circulating the waters. This includes stingrays or Man O’ Wars.

Developed by SwimSmart Warning Systems out of Marquette, Michigan, the lights have been installed along the West and East coasts, as well as Great Lakes. This is the first in the Carolinas.

Signs will be activated Wednesday, June 12, and the town will monitor effectiveness and durability throughout the 2024 summer season.

The signs also include QR codes that lead to Oak Island’s beach safety page, plus they’re equipped with information regarding rip-current safety, how to react in emergency situations and with rescue tubes.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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