Our sincere appreciation is extended to all the Pleasure Island lifeguards--Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue, Kure Beach Lifeguards and Fort Fisher Lifeguards. This year, more so than previous years, was an extremely busy year for all three services. Carolina Beach had around 200 rescues for the season with three fatalities (two when lifeguards were off duty). Kure Beach documented about 150 rescues and one fatality. And our neighbors to the north, Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue (who also do an exceptional job year in and year out), had 275 rescues with one fatality.
As noted in a WWAY news story, rescue records from all three beaches were way up from last year. Ocean Rescue attributes it to exceptionally hazardous surf conditions. Dave Baker from Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue said, "The conditions were such that we had red flag days, where we had strong and numerous rip currents, one day we actually had 65 rescues, with one rip current pulling out 22 people."
Bottom-line, this season was plagued by rip currents which taxed all our area guards. They worked tirelessly keeping swimmers safe even though many inexperienced swimmers ventured too far out on red flag days. It is only because of the dedication and work ethic of our lifeguards that we didn't have more tragedies this summer.
So, we all say thank you. Thank you for keeping our residents and tourists safe during this trying season. So with that said, enjoy your winter off because come next summer, we'll need you back on your towers!!
Here are some youtube videos that show the difficulty and challenges faced by our area lifeguards this past summer season.
Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue effecting a rescue as Hurricane Bill churned off the coast (check out the conditions):
VisitNC video on the Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue: