Ocean Rescue

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The Lifeguard season begins Memorial weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend. The Town of Carolina Beach places lifeguard stands covering approximately 3 miles of beach strand. Each beach access with the closest street locations to help identify where you are on the beach. Lifeguards are on duty Monday thru Thursday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Friday thru Sunday. Carolina Beach is a USLA Advanced Certified Beach. Our lifeguards train and exercise daily for the safety of our citizens and visitors.


Beach rules prohibit alcohol and glass containers. The sand dunes are protected under State and Federal statute. We request that you respect this natural area. Driving, overnight camping and open fires are prohibited along the beach strand within the corporate city limits. All personal items and beach equipment that are left unattended and remain on the public beach between sunset and sunrise will be classified as abandoned property. Items will be removed and disposed of by the Town. Not removing beach equipment between sunset and sunrise could result in a fine per day. Emergency lane of no less than 10 feet should be left open along the dune line.



Rip current signs have been placed at popular public beach accesses and at the public bathrooms/showers. Please make yourself and your families familiar with these signs. They could save your life. Always swim near a lifeguard.



Rip currents are the most threatening natural hazard along our coast. They pull victims away from the beach. The United States Lifesaving Association has found that 80% of the rescues effected by ocean lifeguards involve saving those caught in rip currents. A rip current is a seaward moving current that circulates water back to sea after it is pushed ashore by waves. Each wave accumulates water on shore creating seaward pressure. This pressure is released in an area with the least amount of resistance which is usually the deepest point along the ocean floor. Rip currents also exist in areas where the strength of the waves are weakened by objects such as rock jetties, piers, natural reefs, and even large groups of bathers. Rip currents often look like muddy rivers flowing away from shore. Rip currents are sometimes mistakenly called "rip tides" or "undertows." These are misnomers. Rip currents are not directly associated with tides and they do not pull people under. Try to avoid swimming where rip currents are present, but if you become caught in a one, swim parallel to the shore until the pull stops and then swim back to shore. If you are unable to return to the beach, tread water and wave for lifeguard assistance. Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Rip currents often exist along the side of fixed objects in the water. Be aware of ocean conditions. Lifeguards are trained to identify potential hazards. Ask a lifeguard about the conditions before entering the water. 

Contact Information

Tony Wallace

Ocean Rescue Director

(910) 458-2985