Editorial: 2016 Summer Season Starts This Weekend! Have Fun, Stay Safe!

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 25 May 2016 04:00

Managing Editor

Summer's here! Well, technically not until the June 20th summer solstice at 6:34am EDT, but for the beach Towns in New Hanover County, Memorial Day weekend is the start of the busy tourism season.
This weekend the fun begins on Pleasure Island with the opening of the Boardwalk Amusement Rides at 5PM on Friday May 27th. Later that evening live entertainment will begin at the Boardwalk Gazebo at 6:30pm with a fireworks show at 9:00pm.
There are numerous events scheduled throughout the season that are free to the public.
Sunday May 29th is the start of the 2016 Free Summer Movies at the Carolina Beach Lake. You can catch a movie with the family under the night sky with all the entertainment on a large theater size screen. The first movie of this weekly series is Minions! The event is organized by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce and they have a wonderful line up of movies this summer.
The Carolina Beach Boardwalk has been undergoing construction and improvements for several years and work is now mostly complete. The new ocean front wooden Boardwalk is nearly 800 feet long and a beautiful upgrade to the area. It will be extended to the North later this year.
The new Hampton Inn and Suites is supposed to open in July and will be a welcome addition to the downtown area and local business community.
The Boardwalk Arcade building that was destroyed by fire last year is now reopening with new tenants and should further expand the number of businesses in that area.
Of course Britt's is open for business and has already seen some really long lines of customers seeking that hot dozen of donuts and some coffee or ice cold soda.
Not to the kill the positive mood, but everyone should remember the power of the ocean. Don't take it for granted.
Pay attention to the signals of lifeguards. They will alert you if there are dangerous rip currents or other hazards present in the water.
Simply keep an eye out for the lifeguard towers and always remember to enjoy the ocean together. Keep an eye out for friends and family.
Rip Currents.
Rip currents are channelized currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches. Typically, they form at breaks in sandbars, and also near structures, such as jetties and piers, as well as cliffs that jut into the water. Rip currents are common and can be found on most surf beaches, including the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico. If you do get caught in a rip current, the best thing you can do is stay calm. It's not going to pull you underwater, it's just going to pull you away from shore.
Always let a lifeguard make a rip current rescue, because often, the people that try to make rescues themselves end up being the ones who drown. Instead, the best way to help is to throw them something that floats and immediately get a lifeguard for help.
How to Survive a Rip Current:
- Don't fight the current. It's a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second, but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second—faster than an Olympic swimmer.
- Relax and float to conserve energy. Staying calm may save your life.
- Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current's pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
- If you feel you can't reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: Wave and yell...swim parallel.


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