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High Rip Current Risk Continues Along Much of North Carolina Coast 

Red Flags Remain in Place in Emerald IslePublic Still Advised To Stay Out of Ocean Until Further Notice - (Wednesday, June 21 - 10 am)

High Rip Current Risk Continues Along Much of North Carolina Coast

Red Flags Remain in Place in Emerald Isle

Due to continuing high rip current risks in Emerald Isle and much of the North Carolina coast, the public is advised to stay out of the ocean again today.  The entire ~ 12 miles of ocean beach in Emerald Isle remain marked with RED FLAGS, and these flags will remain in place until conditions improve.  

Red Flags Will Be Removed When Conditions Warrant

Emerald Isle Fire Department and Lifeguard staff will be monitoring conditions in Emerald Isle multiple times daily, and will be consulting the National Weather Service in order to determine when the conditions warrant removal of the flags and a return to normal recreational use of the ocean in Emerald Isle.  

This decision will be communicated via numerous digital platforms, including the Town's website ( https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ), the Town's Facebook page (Town of Emerald Isle, NC is the official page of Town government), the Town's Twitter feed (@townemeraldisle), via the Emerald Isle App (available for download - search Town of Emerald Isle, NC), and via the Town's email newsletter list (sign up at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/join-email-list ).  

Emerald Isle Warning Flag System Explained

Emerald Isle adheres to warning flag standards established by the US Lifesaving Association, and uses the following warning flags:

 

RED FLAGS indicate high hazards and that the public is advised to stay out of the ocean.  When used, which is very rare, Emerald Isle places RED FLAGS approximately every 1/4 mile or less along the beach strand, at the Town's two regional access facilities, on Town all-terrain vehicles providing services on the beach strand, and flies the RED FLAGS at the two Fire Stations. The Town is also working with the owner of Bogue Inlet Pier to hopefully add flags on the pier in the future. 

YELLOW FLAGS indicate moderate hazards, and that the public should use caution in the ocean.

 

In Emerald Isle, other than RED FLAG days, we consider every beach day to be a YELLOW FLAG day, as there is always an inherent risk when entering the ocean and the public is always advised to use caution.  The Town has not previously used completely YELLOW FLAGS (instead relying on combined flags - see below), but will soon begin using completely YELLOW FLAGS at the Town's two regional access facilities (which are served by lifeguards in the summer months), and on Town all-terrain vehicles providing services on the beach strand.  The Town will also be flying YELLOW FLAGS at the two Fire Stations in the future, and is also working with the owner of Bogue Inlet Pier to hopefully add flags on the pier in the future.

 

Combined RED FLAGS and YELLOW FLAGS are used at the Town's two regional access facilities to signify that those areas are served by lifeguards, and are also affixed to the Town's all-terrain vehicles used by roving lifeguards.  If the RED half of the flag is on top, it indicates high hazards and that the public should stay out of the ocean.  If the YELLOW half of the flag is on top, it indicates moderate hazards, and that the public should use caution in the ocean.  It is very rare that the RED half of the flag is on top, as Emerald Isle considers every beach day to be a YELLOW FLAG day.

Emerald Isle does not use GREEN FLAGS, which indicate safe conditions.  In Emerald Isle, we consider every beach day to be a YELLOW FLAG day, and the public should always use caution in the ocean. 

PURPLE FLAGS indicate an abundance of potentially hazardous marine life in the vicinity, including Portuguese man-o-war, jellyfish, and other creatures.  Emerald Isle uses these flags as needed in specific locations, however, the use of PURPLE FLAGS is relatively rare. 

Other Town Actions In Response to Recent and Current Threats

The Town is always seeking to improve our services and better inform our residents and visitors, and has already and/or will soon implement the following improvements:

- A portable electronic warning sign advising the public about rip current risks has been deployed near the Emerald Isle bridge.  (Please note that NCDOT controls the fixed electronic signs, and does not allow their use for any purpose other than traffic information.  The Town is diligently working to affect a change in NCDOT policy on this issue.)

- An additional all-terrain vehicle has been purchased, and the Town will add an additional roving lifeguard on the beach strand each day when we return to normal recreational use of the beach (switch back from RED FLAG conditions to normal YELLOW FLAG conditions).  On normal summer days, the Town previously deployed 5 lifeguards (2 fixed and 3 roving) daily, but will now deploy 6 lifeguards (2 fixed and 4 roving) between 10 am and 5 pm daily.  During the recent and current threat, 2 additional lifeguards have been on duty as needed, and lifeguard hours have been extended to earlier and later times in the day as needed.  

- The Town is currently testing a new text message notification system that will be unveiled soon, and will enable residents and visitors to sign up for Emerald Isle text message alerts in the future. 

Additional Beach Safety / Avoiding Rip Currents Information Sessions Scheduled For Saturday, June 24 at 9 am & Wednesday, June 28 at 6 pm

In light of the recent and current issues, the Town has scheduled two additional information sessions on Beach Safety / Avoiding Rip Currents.  The Emerald Isle Fire Department and Lifeguard staff will present this helpful information on Saturday, June 24 at 9 am, and Wednesday, June 28 at 6 pm in the Town Board Meeting Room (7500 Emerald Drive).  Please plan to attend!

Learn More, and Know What to Do in a Rip Current

Each of the Town's public access locations (large regional accesses and neighborhood accesses) include signage that explain what to do if you find yourself caught in a rip current.  Please take the time to read it when you head out to the beach!  

For current National Weather Service rip current forecasts, and an informative video about rip currents, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/rip-currents-and-surf-forecast . 

The graphic below includes concise, understandable guidance:

 

To learn more about beach safety, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/safety . 

PLEASE BE SAFE!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, June 21, 2017 10:22:00 AM

Red Flag Beach Conditions Still in Effect 

 

Public Advised To Stay Out of Ocean Until Further Notice

Tuesday, June 20 - 10 am

High Rip Current Risk Continues Along Much of North Carolina Coast

Red Flags Remain in Place Along Entire EI Beach Strand

Due to continuing high rip current risks in Emerald Isle and much of the North Carolina coast, the public is advised to stay out of the ocean again today.  The entire ~ 12 miles of ocean beach in Emerald Isle remain marked with RED FLAGS, and these flags will remain in place until conditions improve.  

Red Flags Will Be Removed When Conditions Warrant

Emerald Isle Fire Department and Lifeguard staff will be monitoring conditions in Emerald Isle multiple times daily, and will be consulting the National Weather Service in order to determine when the conditions warrant removal of the flags and a return to normal recreational use of the ocean in Emerald Isle.  

This decision will be communicated via numerous digital platforms, including the Town's website ( https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ), the Town's Facebook page (Town of Emerald Isle, NC is the official page of Town government), the Town's Twitter feed (@townemeraldisle), via the Emerald Isle App (available for download - search Town of Emerald Isle, NC), and via the Town's email newsletter list (sign up at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/join-email-list ).  

Additional Beach Safety / Avoiding Rip Currents Information Sessions Scheduled

Saturday, June 24 at 9 am & Wednesday, June 28 at 6 pm

In light of the recent and current issues, the Town has scheduled two additional information sessions on Beach Safety / Avoiding Rip Currents.  The Emerald Isle Fire Department and Lifeguard staff will present this helpful information on Saturday, June 24 at 9 am, and Wednesday, June 28 at 6 pm in the Town Board Meeting Room (7500 Emerald Drive).  Please plan to attend!

Learn More, and Know What to Do in a Rip Current

Each of the Town's public access locations (large regional accesses and neighborhood accesses) include signage that explain what to do if you find yourself caught in a rip current.  Please take the time to read it when you head out to the beach!  

For current National Weather Service rip current forecasts, and an informative video about rip currents, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/rip-currents-and-surf-forecast . 

The graphic below includes concise, understandable guidance:

To learn more about beach safety, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/safety . 

PLEASE BE SAFE!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, June 20, 2017 9:53:00 AM

Emerald Isle Teen Drowning Update 

 

Emerald Isle Police are reporting that 16-year old Tyreese Worsley of Goldsboro, the second swimmer who was recovered during water rescue efforts on June 10, 2017, died at 2:25am at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Tyreese had been listed in critical condition since being airlifted to Vidant immediately following the incident. The official cause of death has not been released at this time.

The Town of Emerald Isle would like to express our deepest condolences to Tyreese’s family and friends and extend our thoughts and prayers for their loss.

No additional information is being released.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, June 19, 2017 2:52:00 PM

Red Flag Beach Conditions Continue 

Public Advised To Stay Out of Ocean Until Further Notice

Monday, June 19 - 12 noon

Red Flags Remain in Place Along Entire EI Beach Strand

Due to continuing high rip current risks in Emerald Isle, the public is advised to stay out of the ocean again today.  The entire ~ 12 miles of ocean beach in Emerald Isle remain marked with RED FLAGS, and these flags will remain in place until conditions improve.  

Red Flags Will Be Removed When Conditions Warrant

Emerald Isle Fire Department and Lifeguard staff will be monitoring conditions in Emerald Isle multiple times daily, and will be consulting the National Weather Service in order to determine when the conditions warrant removal of the flags and a return to normal recreational use of the ocean in Emerald Isle.  

This decision will be communicated via numerous digital platforms, including the Town's website ( https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ ), the Town's Facebook page (Town of Emerald Isle, NC is the official page of Town government), the Town's Twitter feed (@townemeraldisle), via the Emerald Isle App (available for download - search Town of Emerald Isle, NC), and via the Town's email newsletter list (sign up at  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/join-email-list ).  

Beach Safety / Avoiding Rip Currents Information Sessions Scheduled

This month's Police Educating the Public (PEP) program will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, June 20, at 10 am in the Town Board Meeting Room (7500 Emerald Drive).  This month's session (which was scheduled months ago) focuses on Beach Safety / Avoiding Rip Currents, and will be led by EIFD and Lifeguard staff.  

In light of the recent and current issues, the Town has scheduled two additional sessions for those who can't attend on June 20.  Identical sessions will be held on Saturday, June 24 at 9 am, and Wednesday, June 28 at 6 pm.

Learn More, and Know What to Do in a Rip Current

Each of the Town's public access locations (large regional accesses and neighborhood accesses) include signage that explain what to do if you find yourself caught in a rip current.  Please take the time to read it when you head out to the beach!  

For current National Weather Service rip current forecasts, and an informative video about rip currents, please visit https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/rip-currents-and-surf-forecast . 

The graphic below includes concise, understandable guidance:

To learn more about beach safety, please visit  https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/safety . 

PLEASE BE SAFE!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, June 19, 2017 11:57:00 AM

High Rip Current Risk in Emerald Isle 

Please be advised - High rip current risk in Emerald Isle. Red flags going up along entire beach strand now. Public advised to stay out of ocean until further notice.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Sunday, June 18, 2017 2:13:00 PM

Missing Teen Swimmer Recovered in Emerald Isle 

 

Emerald Isle, NC June 13, 2017: Emerald Isle Police are reporting that the body of the 17-year old missing teen swimmer was recovered in Emerald Isle this morning at approximately 8:05AM.

At 7:55AM, Emergency Services in Emerald Isle responded to a report in the 7700 block of an unidentified object bobbing in the water approximately 1500 meters offshore.  Police, fire and EMS personnel responded to the scene and were able to recover and identify the body of 17-year old Elijah Hinnant of Goldsboro, who went missing on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 6:08pm. According to information received during the investigation, Elijah had traveled from Goldsboro with several friends to spend the day in Emerald Isle when he and another friend were caught in a rip current while in the water in the 7900 block of the beach strand. The second teen, 16-year old Tyreese Worsley of Goldsboro, was recovered from the water by a surfer and rescue personnel, where lifesaving measures were performed and he was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.  He remains in critical condition as of this morning.  According to information received from the family, neither of the young men were strong swimmers.

The Town of Emerald Isle would like to convey our deepest condolences to Elijah’s family for their loss.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both these young men and our staff will remain available to the families to answer questions and provide any support we can to help them through this tragedy.

The Town of Emerald Isle would like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard and the Atlantic Beach Fire Department dive team for their assistance in the search and recovery efforts.

No additional information is being released at this time.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, June 13, 2017 12:05:00 PM

Sponsorship Opportunities Available for 2017 Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival  

 

Please see Official Sponsorship Form and/or contact Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreation Director at asanderson@emeraldisle-nc.org for more details.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, June 13, 2017 9:17:00 AM

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Swimmer 

 

 

Emerald Isle, NC June 12, 2017:   Emerald Isle Police are reporting that the Coast Guard has suspended their search for the missing 17 year old swimmer that disappeared in the 7900 block of the beach strand in Emerald Isle on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at approximately 6:08pm. A second swimmer, a 16 year old who was pulled from the water by lifeguards, remains in critical condition at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Emerald Isle Police, Fire, EMS and the U.S. Coastguard began searching for the missing teen immediately after the initial report. The coordinated search effort, which lasted 18 hours and covered 130 square miles, was suspended by the Coast Guard at 12:40pm on June 11, 2017, when assets involved in the search were requested to respond to other developing emergencies in the area. Coast Guard assets used in the search included a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water (SPC-SW) crew from EMERALD ISLE POLICE DEPARTMENT Page 2

Station Emerald Isle, a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Fort Macon, the 87-foot patrol boat Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater out of Virginia, and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City.

Emerald Isle Police and Fire personnel are continuing their search of the shoreline and surrounding area and a dive team from Atlantic Beach has been requested to check the waters in the area where the teen was last seen. Police are also reporting that the teen has been entered into a national database for missing children and emergency services agencies in Carteret and Onslow counties have been briefed on the situation.

Additional information on this matter will be released as it is received.

No additional information is being released at this time.  

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, June 12, 2017 8:58:00 AM

Emerald Isle Rescue Crews and Coast Guard Search for Missing Swimmer 

Emerald Isle Police Department Issues Press Release - June 11, 2017:

Emerald Isle Police, Fire, EMS and U.S. Coastguard assets from Emerald Isle, Fort Macon and Elizabeth City have worked overnight and into the early morning Sunday searching for a swimmer initially reported missing after being caught in a rip current while swimming in Emerald Isle at around 6:08pm on June 10, 2017. Emergency services in Emerald Isle received a report of two swimmers missing in the 7900 block of the beach strand and rescue services were immediately dispatched to the scene. One of the teens, a 16 year old male was located by a surfer and was brought ashore by Emerald Isle Fire Department Lifeguards where life saving measures where started by first responders. He was taken to Carteret Health Care and then airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Second Swimmer Remains Missing

The second swimmer, a 17 year old male, remains missing as of the time of this press release. A coordinated search effort involving Emerald Isle Police, Fire, EMS and the U.S. Coastguard began immediately after the initial report and has continued throughout the night. U.S. Coastguard assets involved in the search efforts include a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water (SPC-SW) crew from Station Emerald Isle, a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Fort Macon, the 87-foot patrol boat Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater out of Virginia, and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City. Emerald Isle Police and Fire personnel are conducting a ground search of the shoreline.

Emerald Isle Police are not releasing the names of the victims at the request of the families. Both of the victims are from the Wayne County, NC area and were visiting Emerald Isle on a day trip.

Additional information on this matter will be released as it is received.

No additional information is available at this time.

 

 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Sunday, June 11, 2017 10:20:00 AM

Town Completes Purchase of Islander Drive Property, Clean-Up to Occur in June 

 

The Town has completed the purchase of the abandoned go-kart track and bumper boat facility on Islander Drive (adjacent to the Western Ocean Regional Access facility), and has retained a local contractor to remove all remaining concrete and debris. The entire site will be restored to a vacant, grassy field in June, and will then be reserved for future development.  The Town is pleased to acquire this land, and is anxious to immediately improve the aesthetics along Islander Drive. 

The Town purchased the 1.8 acre tract for nearly $630,000, and will invest up to an additional $70,000 in clean-up and other associated expenses.  The Town was fortunate to receive $450,000 from Carteret County to assist with this land acquisition, and greatly appreciates the County's support for the Town's efforts.  Following the clean-up, the Town will pursue the development of a "meeting and events center" in this area, and will be working to combine the new tract with the Western Ocean Regional Access and potentially other tracts in this area for the new facility.  The Town will soon begin a (likely) year-long process to refine the project goals, determine the appropriate design criteria and other project parameters, solicit a private partner, and reach an agreement for future development that enhances the Emerald Isle economy, improves aesthetics in this underutilized area, and hopefully promotes additional quality development in this area in the future. 

The potential development of a "meeting and events center" will be thoroughly considered by the Board of Commissioners over the next year, and will include multiple opportunities for public input. The Town is firmly committed to maintaining public access and parking at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  That facility currently includes 165 parking spaces for beach access, and any future development plans will retain at least that many parking spaces for public use (and ideally increase that number).  There is absolutely no potential scenario whereby beach access parking will be reduced or eliminated.  Equally important, the Town is firmly committed to its "family beach image" and "small town atmosphere", and any new "meeting and events center" will be constructed with a style and scale that is consistent with current development patterns and community values in Emerald Isle, as outlined in the Town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Project specifics will be determined over the next year, but any new structure(s) will comply with the Town's current building height limits and aesthetic requirements.  Essentially, the Town will be seeking a private partner that embraces the Town's overall vision that has been carefully implemented over the past several decades and that is consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the future. 

As noted, the project specifics will be determined over the next year.  If the Town can devise a plan that achieves its goals as outlined in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and can attract a quality private partner, the project will proceed in the coming years.  If not, the Town will either use the 1.8 acre tract for other beneficial purposes or will market this desirable property for sale to a private entity.  In the short-term, the acquisition and clean-up of the 1.8 acre tract will significantly enhance this area of Emerald Isle, and the Town is pleased to proceed.  In the long-term, there is great potential for even greater benefits for the entire Emerald Isle community, with virtually no or very minimal risk to the Town.

Additional information about the Town's progress will be included in future editions of the Emerald Tidings newsletter, and also posted at https://www.emeraldisle-nc.org/ .  For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or frush@emeraldisle-nc.org .  The Town looks forward to significant positive improvements along Islander Drive in the future! 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 2, 2017 3:08:00 PM
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