Ocean Isle Beach Conditions and Rip Currents

A relaxing getaway to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina is bound to be an unforgettable adventure. Snuggled into scenic coastline that boasts beautiful sand beaches, stunning surf and impeccable views, Ocean Isle Beach thrills visitors from near and far. While it’s easy to get swept up in the natural beauty this oceanside city provides, it’s just as important to be aware of the risks associated with those breathtaking waves. Understanding Ocean Isle Beach conditions and rip currents is the best way to stay safe and truly make the most of your Ocean Isle Beach getaway.

The Basics of Rip Currents

Rip currents are common yet dangerous channels that run from the beach through the surf at alarming rates of speed. Moving as quickly as eight to 10 feet per second, a rip current pulls everything it encounters out to sea at a rapid rate. These channels are caused by waves breaking against the shore. Rip currents most often develop when waves begin hitting the shoreline at a perpendicular angle and can be identified by the appearance of a noticeable space between waves that looks abnormal or slight discoloration of waves.

How to Prepare for Ocean Isle Beach Conditions and Rip Currents

The best way to prepare for a safe day at the beach and avoid rip current encounters is to do your research before you leave for the day. The National Weather Service keeps up to date information readily available specific to state, region and shoreline as needed. Understanding the flag system and Ocean Isle Beach weather is key to keeping safe from rip currents. Beaches will post flags indicating days that rip currents are likely. A red flag means there is a high probability of rip currents. Double red flags indicate that swimming is prohibited in that area for the day. Additionally, it’s important to always make beach days a group event so there are many hands on deck in the event of an emergency. 

Handling the Unexpected

While it’s very avoidable, it is possible to find yourself swept up in a rip current unexpectedly. Undeniably a scary situation, most people make the deadly mistake of trying to swim directly back to shore in a line against the jet stream. While this instinct makes sense, it is also an impossible task. Rip currents are far too strong to swim against and within a matter of minutes swimmers are too fatigued to be able to help themselves. The best way to survive a rip current is to allow yourself to move with the flow until you are able to swim away from the current either to the left or right of the stream. This strategy gets you back to slow moving water and provides the possibility of swimming back to shore.

Helping You Find Your Vacation Home

Learning to understand rip currents and stay safe on the beach is a smart way to make the most of your Ocean Isle Beach stay. While you’re here, let the team at McClure Realty Vacations help you find your dream vacation rental. With a large selection of waterfront properties available, you’ll be close to the fun and soaking up a scenic view in no time. Contact us today to learn more about Ocean Isle Beach conditions and to book one of of our rentals!