WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WNCN) - Tropical Storm Chris remains nearly stationary about 200 miles off the North Carolina coast, but it’s effects are being felt by vacationers and beachgoers trying to enjoy some fun in the sun.
Those visiting Wrightsville Beach only had one hint that the tropical storm was lurking offshort.
“Its really rough — really rough, and you can't go out too far. And I even noticed some surfers down there that were having a hard time even getting a wave,” said Maggie Burton, who was vacationing with her friends.
The high surf and threat of rip currents has many beaches along the coast closed or restricted for swimming, keeping Ocean Rescue Teams on alert.
“Yesterday we had approximately 20 rescues and about 75 since July 4th,” said Lt. Sam Proffitt with Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue.
The red flags were flying at Wrightsville Beach, leaving many people suck in the sand. The dangerous ocean conditions have already claimed the life of one person at the Outer Banks this weekend. Lifeguards are working hard to prevent any further loss of life.
“They are strongly encouraged not to swim or get into the ocean. And not just swimming; body boarding, surfing, any of those. We recommend staying out of the ocean,” Proffitt said.
Although the ocean conditions were not ideal for people looking to swim, the beach was flooded with surfers trying to ride the large swells.
“We've been out here since 9 a.m. or so, and it was huge out there this morning. It's died down a little bit, but that current is still ripping,” said surfer Grant Smith.
But even they are watching out for one another as the waves crashing along coast continue to build.
“You always wanna know who's around you and what's around you. If you're out there with a friend, just keep an eye out for each other,” said surfer Chase Proctor.
Those planning on visiting the coast over the next couple of days are encouraged to obey the warning flags and the instructions of the lifeguards. The ocean water conditions are dangerous for swimming, and those lifeguards are there to make sure that everyone stays safe.