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Riptide Currents Create Problems On State's Coastline, Prompt Beach Closings

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Riptide currents are causing trouble on North Carolina's coastline.(WRAL-TV5 News)
WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Tropical Storm Florence is about to head out to sea, but not without making her presence felt on the state's coast.

The red flags were flying on Wrightsville Beach Thursday to warn swimmers of the dangerous rip currents. Kure Beach and Carolina Beach were also closed after two people were pulled underwater and drowned.

Despite the risks, people are still willing to get in the water.

"We can close the beach, but you really can't, and strongly urge people, not to but again, it's hard to keep people out," says Brian Roberts, Carolina Beach Fire Chief.

Rescuers continue to search for a Hillsborough man. James Frazier's kayak washed ashore Wednesday at Carolina Beach. Rescuers believe he may have drowned.

Rip currents are characterized by one or more of the following:
  • Muddy water caused by sand stirred up from the bottom.
  • A channel of dark-colored water caused by the deep, swift-running current.
  • A line of foam or seaweed on the surface of the water.
  • A large amount of debris floating away from the shore.
  • A section of choppy water within a calm area. Riled-up water near a pier or jetty where rip currents often form.
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