Red flag warnings lifted at Emerald Isle

(National Weather Service)

EMERALD ISLE, Carteret County - After days of red flag warnings with the Town of Emerald Isle advising beachgoers not to go into the Atlantic Ocean, the severe warnings have been lifted.

On Thursday, Emerald Isle returned to its normal yellow flag status for its 12 miles of beaches, which indicates a moderate hazard. Ocean swimmers should continue to use common sense and caution.

The town has added an additional roving lifeguard for its beaches to help improve response time for emergencies, it said. That comes in response to current and recent threats that have seen four people drown within a 10-day span off the Emerald Isle and Atlantic Beach beaches. Emerald Isle has lifeguards stationed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Easter and Western Ocean Access points, as well as utilizing four all-terrain vehicles to patrol the length of the beach.

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The National Weather Service, however, has the rip current hazard risk remaining in the red for all of the Crystal Coast on Thursday, as well as Ocracoke Island.