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Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111
Cape Hatteras National Seashore's lifeguarded beaches will open on Saturday, May 28 for the 2011 season. Lifeguard services will be available at Coquina Beach (Nags Head), Buxton Beach (Buxton) and Ocracoke Beach Day Use area from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. six days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Until additional lifeguard personnel are hired, services will not be offered on Tuesdays. It is anticipated that seven-day week services will be offered within two to three weeks upon completion of hiring.
Before going to the beach, please check with local weather sources for updated surf and current conditions. Planning your visit to Cape Hatteras National Seashore will enhance your enjoyment and comfort. Having an accident will spoil any vacation. For your safety, please observe all weather service and lifeguard advisories and consider the following information:
SWIMMING: The ocean is constantly changing and even on calm days tidal currents can be overwhelming to some swimmers. Know your swimming ability, understand the hazards and stay within your limits! NEVER leave your children unattended when they are in or near the water.
Seaward or "Rip" Currents are currents that move away from the shore. If caught in a seaward current, stay calm, float and wave for assistance. Calmly swim parallel to the shoreline until out of the current and then swim to shore.
Save your strength for your own rescue. If you cannot reach shore, stay calm, float on your back and control your breathing. Call for help and raise one arm up out of the water to signal help.
Waves are generated by wind and change from day to day. However, all waves deserve respect.
To escape the waves' force, duck under or retreat from breaking waves.
Do not swim in hazardous surf.
If boogie-boarding or body surfing, ride waves parallel to the shoreline to help prevent direct head and neck contact with the ocean floor.
SEA LIFE: Use caution to avoid jellyfish and stingrays. If stung by a jellyfish, do not touch irritated skin or wash with fresh water. Rather, rinse the affected area with salt water and apply vinegar. Shuffle your feet lightly while wading to avoid stepping on stingrays.
LIGHTNING and THUNDER: If you can see lightning or hear thunder you are within striking distance. Seek safe shelter immediately!