Water rescues prompt beach warnings

Photo by WAVY/Megan Vazquez

(WAVY) — Hundreds of people have been rescued from the waters of Hampton Roads and the Outer Banks this summer, prompting officials to emphasize the dangers of rip currents.

Dare County Emergency Management tweeted that rescue teams had to pull more than 60 people from the waves in Kill Devil Hills on Monday. The Outer Banks Voice reports that Kill Devil Hills has had a total 245 rescues this season.

Tom Gill with the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service told WAVY lifeguards at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront have pulled 375 people out of the water from Memorial Day through Monday, July 21.

He said Sunday and Monday saw a total of 48 rescues, despite the red flags flying from lifeguard stands. Red flags remained up Tuesday.

Red flags signal rough water and dangerous rip currents that can challenge even the best swimmers. Lifeguards warn beach-goers to only swim at waist level water when the flags are up and to swim near a lifeguard for safety.

Gill said the highest numbers included 65 rescues on June 28 and 59 rescues on July 5.

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