(Pictured Above:) An hour before high tide on Monday April 30, at the Alabama Ave. beach access ramp.
By Willard H. Killough III
CAROLINA BEACH - The beach is narrow at southern end of Carolina Beach.
At high tide, near the Alabama Avenue beach access the waves nearly wash up to the sand dunes.
A project to re-nourish the beachfront in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach was recently completed. That project did not include these areas of the beach because the formula used by the Army Corp of Engineers to determine which areas will receive nourishment is based on erosion rates and the width of the dune systems protecting certain areas.
In most places within this area, there is a wide protective dune system in place.
Carolina Beach Police officer Charles Smith – head of the department’s lifeguard program – says the narrow area of the beach located near Alabama Avenue and Ocean Blvd. has been part of their planning process for the upcoming summer season.
Smith said a four-wheel drive vehicle will be dedicated to that area since access to the southern end of the beach in Carolina Beach jurisdiction is nearly impossible during high tide. Smith discussed the situation with County EMS officials and the Town of Kure Beach.
Smith explained Carolina Beach and Kure Beach both have excellent lifeguard programs that respond to each other’s jurisdictions when called upon for aid.
Smith said the area south of the narrow section of beach will be covered by Carolina Beach lifeguards this summer, but both towns can respond.
Emergency responders such as EMS usually access the beach from within Carolina Beach in four-wheel drive vehicles to transport victims off the beachfront.
Since this particular area of the beach has become impassable at high-tide, those vehicles would have to travel into Kure Beach, cross a vehicle ramp, and then drive back into Carolina Beach on the beach thus extending their response time.
Smith explained plans have been established to avoid that scenario to avoid increased response times.
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