Rip current risk 'high' at North Carolina beaches for Memorial Day

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WTVD) -- The 2019 swimming season is still getting started, yet rip currents have already claimed the lives of several people including a 5-year-old boy and two Wake Forest teenagers.

While hundreds are expected to flock to Carolina beaches to enjoy the surf and sand this Memorial Day weekend, experts want to remind them to swim safely.

To help, ABC11 will continually bring you the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's rip current forecast all weekend. The forecasts come out daily, so be sure to check back for updates.

Please note that even if rip current risks are low, you should still take precautions and swim safely.


There is a high risk for rip currents at the Outer Banks and other North Carolina beaches.

NOAA specifically noted high risk for rip currents at the following beaches:

  • Northern Outer Banks: Southern Shores, Duck, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head
  • Hatteras Island: Rodanthe, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras Village, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore
  • Ocracoke Island
  • East Carteret: Cape Lookout National Seashore and Shackleford Banks
  • West Carteret: Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, and Emerald Isle
  • Coastal Onslow: Hammocks Beach and North Topsail Beach

With a high risk for rip currents, it is recommended that you stay out of the water.

The UV index is expected to be very high, so bring sun protection. Unprotected skin can damage and burn quickly. Everyone is encouraged to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The forecast for this weekend is sunny and hot.

Temperatures are expected to reach into the low-90s, so be sure to have extra sunscreen and water.

WATCH: How to survive a rip current

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ABC11 Chief Meteorologist Chris Hohmann explains how to survive a rip current.

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