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Oak Island warns against bringing floaties and boards to the beach

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OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Tomorrow is the first official day of summer and with more people heading to the Cape Fear to enjoy fun in the sun, Oak Island is asking residents and visitors not to bring floaties, paddleboards or kayaks with them to the beach.

In the past week, Oak Island Water Rescue has responded to several calls to bring floaties and paddleboards back to shore after being taken away by winds blowing from land to water.

On Wednesday, Water Rescue had to help grab two young kids on a paddleboard near the Oak Island pier.

Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Carl Mauney said it’s a safety concern at any beach.

“An occupied float, kayak, paddleboard can easily be pushed out by the wind and blow the occupants pretty far off the beach,” Mauney said. “And its not even just Brunswick County, its anywhere, any beach where you have an offshore wind, you’re going to have this dynamic. It just so happens that because we’re a south-facing beach, that’s the direction that it happens. If you were to go to Myrtle Beach or north up to Wrightsville Beach, they’re east-facing beaches so they don’t have this problem today.”

Mauney said even floaties and boards left on the beach that got blown into the water have resulted in 911 calls being made.

Along with Water Rescue, the fire department and police will respond to these calls.

Oak Island Fire Chief Lee Price said, despite what some might think, such calls aren’t considered a waste of resources.

“They come to the beach to have fun,” Price said. “You know, people rent their house, they come down here for the week, they’re gonna get in the water and we understand that. We want them to use caution. If someone thinks that they’re in trouble, then we want to get that call because we’d rather come out and practice and there not be an issue than somebody be in trouble and us not get here.”

Beachgoer Logan Causey said he first learned of this possible danger years ago when his sister had to be rescued after being blown offshore.

“People don’t realize, especially when its as calm as it is out here, you know, you don’t think of the dangers of the offshore winds, but once it gets whatever you’re floating on and you’re not touching bottom, you ain’t coming back unless you’re a strong swimmer,” Causey said.

Another south-facing beach, Ocean Isle Beach, had an incident last week where an adult on a donut floatie was blown nearly a mile from shore.



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