On Friday, July 6th, 89-degree water temperatures were recorded at Johnnie Mercers Fishing Pier on Wrightsville Beach. Last weekend’s were the highest on record since measurements began at that location in 2004. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Pfaff, the region experienced a hot and humid spell throughout the week that did not allow the water temperature to cool off. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression #3 formed about 200 miles offshore and strengthened to a tropical storm on Sunday, July 8th. Tropical Storm Chris brought rough surf and an increase in life threatening rip currents to the area as it continued to meander off the coast.
Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue reported a total of 95 rescues through the end of the week starting July 4th, 20 of those taking place on Sunday. Many beaches in the northern part of the state closed swimming to the public due to the adverse conditions, and one fatality was reported in the Outer Banks.
“We are saddened that rough waters have tragically claimed a life, and I urge people along our coast to be cautious, especially if they plan to be in and on the water,” said Governor Roy Cooper.
Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue always recommends that beach goers pay close attention to the flags flown from lifeguard stands, as they indicate water conditions in the area. Lifeguards are available to address any questions you may have regarding water safety or beach regulations as well.