50+ water rescues performed at NC coast this weekend as forecasters warn of rip currents

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Crews performed more than 50 water rescues at various beaches in the Wilmington area Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

The rescues in New Hanover County came as Tropical Storm Henri, which is nearly a hurricane, is about 270 miles offshore and is kicking up life-threatening current along the entire North Carolina coast.

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By 5 p.m., the weather service reported 30 water rescues in Wrightsville Beach by ocean rescue crews. Also, 15 water rescues took place at Kure Beach while eight happened at Carolina Beach, according to the National Weather Service.

The information was released as the weather service warned of rip current danger from Henri, which is expected to become a hurricane Friday night or Saturday.

The water rescues Friday came after a father and his adult son died in rip currents near the Oak Island pier Wednesday, according to Oak Island Water Rescue.

Family members said several of them were in the water that they could stand in, but they then got caught in a rip current just off the Brunswick County island, Tony Young with Oak Island Water Rescue told WECT.


Henri weakens to tropical storm ahead of Northeast landfall

The father, who was a firefighter, was pulled from the water but died. The 28-year-old son was recovered later, according to the TV station.

In the rip current warning for the weekend, the weather service gave advice for how to survive a rip current: “If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”

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