Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Oak Island to provide rescue tubes at each beach access in $16,500 partnership

Beach signage planned to be installed at all 65 Oak Island beach accesses. (Town of Oak Island).

OAK ISLAND — The town of Oak Island has teamed up with Jack Helbig Memorial Foundation to provide rescue tubes and beach safety information at all 65 beach access points on the island. 

The foundation will provide $10,000 along with $6,500 from the town to erect “water safety stations” at the access points.

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

The move is a success for community members recently calling for the town to do more to prevent drowning, including a request to hire lifeguards. Residents have advocated for the town to offer more rescue tubes at as many accesses possible.

According to the town announcement on Thursday, JHMF sent the town a letter on July 22 proposing the new partnership.

The bright yellow rescue tubes will come from the Rescue Tube Foundation. They will accompany a safety information sign displaying a QR code that links to the most current warning flag condition and explanations, along with graphic instructions on how to use the tube. 

The town’s announcement states:

“This joint effort provides an affordable and sustainable solution to help residents and visitors ensure their own personal safety. Both the rescue tubes and beach safety signs have been ordered and are anticipated to arrive by the end of August, with installation by the Labor Day holiday.”

JHMF is a nonprofit based in Brunswick County since 2012. Their mission is to prevent drowning through education and awareness by establishing partnerships with municipalities and response agencies. They have also established rescue can stands at Caswell Beach and five rescue rings at the Southport waterfront.

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