High risk of rip currents today from Duck to Cape Hatteras

No swimming flag flying in Corolla. [Photo courtesy Corolla Beach Rescue]

A combination of strong winds, strong longshore currents and rough surf will create a high risk of rip currents today at beaches from Duck to Cape Hatteras.

The National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office issued the beach hazards statement for dangerous surf conditions this morning, and the warning remains in effect until 8 p.m.

The most likely time for strong rip currents to develop will be a couple hours before and after low tide, which occurs about 9:40 p.m. today. But strong rip currents can develop any time of day.

If caught in a rip current, remain calm and don’t fight the current. Swim in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim back to shore. If tired, float or tread water until you’re able to escape. If you can’t escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.

Strong longshore currents can sweep swimmers and surfers into rip currents, piers, jetties and other hazardous areas. In many cases, the longshore current is strong enough to prevent swimmers from being able to keep their feet on the bottom, making it difficult to return to shore.

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This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.