Officials are warning ocean swimmers that there is a high rip current risk Friday for all beaches in Horry and Brunswick, N.C., counties, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, N.C.
Strong rip currents are expected Friday as wind and wave conditions remain favorable for increased activity, forecasters said in a statement.
Numerous ocean rescues were reported on Thursday, including one person being hospitalized in Brunswick County and more than 40 rescues in the North Myrtle Beach area, forecasters said.
Southeast swells of four to five feet at seven second are expected to create breaking waves of three to four feet at the beaches on Friday, forecasters said. South to Southeast winds between 10 to 15 knots also will enhance the rip current threat.
The chance of rip currents increase within two hours of low tide, which is expected around 12 p.m. Friday, according to the statement.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore. Swimmers should check with lifeguards and beach patrol and pay attention to posted flags and signs before entering the water.
If you become caught in a rip current, do not panic and begin to swim parallel to shore to get out of it, forecasters said. Do not try to swim directly against the rip current to short.