With the offshore passage of Hurricane Katia, the National Weather Service has issued an advisory warning of possible life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The Coast Guard is urging mariners and beachgoers to be aware of the dangers of high surf and rip currents in their area.
North Carolina inlets are subject to high surf conditions. The strong currents and shallow water may result in breaking surf across inlets.
This summer there have been seven boats capsized by breaking surf in N.C. inlets according to Coast Guard Sector North Carolina.
Mariners are advised to assess inlet conditions prior to attempting a transit as the surf may create hazardous conditions that limit rescuers' ability to assist victims.
High surf also creates rip currents that can drag swimmers away from the beach and lead to drowning when they attempt to fight the current and become exhausted.
“It’s exciting to be on the beach and see the wave action,” said Cmdr. James Mitchell, response department head for Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “But remember that there is a lot of power in those waves, especially with rip currents. Even going into the water waste deep, you could get knocked off your feet. Just be careful, be very careful because the water can definitely be unpredictable when storms are approaching the shore side.”