CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – Thousands of people visited the beaches this Memorial Day Weekend.

The nice weather across southeastern North Carolina made people jump into the water despite moderate rip current risks.

“Over the weekend, we had 45 water rescues,” said Carolina Beach Ocean Rescue Captain, Tony Wallace. “We need to stay preventative. We’re going to continue public education, posting flags where rip currents, inform how to stay away from them and how to get out of them.”

COVID-19 is also impacting how first responders perform water rescues.

“We have these PPE bags set up for every one of our guards. If we have a water rescue and there is medical assistance required, we have masks that we put on our victim and our guards and gloves and so forth. If someone needs ventilation done, we use (a) bag mouth mask. No mouth to mouth right now,” Wallace said.

There are other changes that will be set forward during the pandemic for the safety of beachgoers along with first responders.

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