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The original item was published from 10/2/2021 9:28:00 AM to 10/3/2021 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

Ocean Rescue/Red "No Swimming" Flag Notices

Posted on: September 30, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Dangerous Rip Currents and Rough Surf Expected From Hurricane Sam

Dangerous surf and rip currents expected as a result of the storm offshore.

Despite Hurricane Sam remaining well out to sea this weekend, large swells created by the category 4 storm will create dangerous, life-threatening rip currents and shore break. Some increase in swells will occur Friday, October 1, but the most dangerous conditions on the beaches will be Saturday and even into Sunday, October 2 and 3. 

If red "no swimming" flags are NOT flying, be sure to know the conditions, and how to survive them, before heading into the ocean. For more information on learning how to spot and survive rip currents, visit

Nags Head's Red No Swimming Flag

Red "No Swimming" Flags
A posted red flag means swimming in the Atlantic Ocean is prohibited until dangerous conditions subside and the red flags are lowered.

Swimming means any entry into the Atlantic Ocean, whether assisted by a raft, an inflatable device, or anything similar in nature.

Those using surfboards that are fiberglass and foam, which are at least five feet long, with at least one fin and a leash, may enter the water. The same is true for those using a body board and fins (not SCUBA fins) that consist of a foam core encapsulated by a durable hard plastic bottom, a foam top deck, and foam side rails. The core of the body board must be made of polyethylene or polypropylene that incorporates stringers for rigidity. A durable coiled leash must be attached securely to the front of the board. However, those using Styrofoam boards or boards affixed with a nylon mesh cover and woven cord leash are not allowed into the water.

For more information, contact Nags Head Fire and Rescue at 252.441.5909.

Want to be the first to know if we fly the red flags? Sign up to receive news flashes from our Ocean Rescue division. 

Hurricane Sam will bring dangerous rip currents to the area starting October 1, 2021.

Rip Current Poster

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