ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. — Admit it… some of us have been dreaming of those warmer days being spent on the Beach…
But while we’re dreaming… areas like Atlantic Beach, North Carolina are reinforcing and expanding their rules leading up to beach season.
Here what’s new…
Number 1: you are going to see a lot more flags… early last year, flags were only posted on locations where lifeguards were. Now starting April 10th (Easter Weekend), they will post flags every eighth of a mile along the main strand to make sure a flag is visible from all locations.
Number 2: you will no longer see a green flag at Atlantic Beach! Every coastal community has adopted a flag warning system to alert swimmers of hazards. Green brought a false sense of security because the ocean is always unpredictable. Now you will mainly see a yellow flag meaning – medium hazard or a red flag meaning a high hazard. And if you ever see a double red flag… that means the beach is closed to the public
And lastly Number 3: life-guards will be out before Memorial Day this year. Starting May 2nd 2 Lifeguards will be patrolling on ATV’s during the weekends. Then May 16 starts the full lifeguard season with 4 lifeguards stationed at the circle and 2 roaming guards for the weekends.
Beach drowning’s have always been an issue and happen every year but last year they started earlier than normal in Atlantic Beach. Early in 2019 there were a lot more people assisting the clean up from the 11 million dollars worth of damage caused from Hurricane Florence. This lead to increased beach activity upping the risk.
Fire Chief Mike Simpson, is hopeful that these changes will save more lives.
So before you head to the beach, beware of your surroundings, know your flags and educate yourself on the proper safety measures to maximize your enjoyment along the Crystal Coast.