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Find a Lifeguard

Never swim alone. Lifeguards and important information that is posted on lifeguard stands along the Outer Banks provide beachgoers with valuable information about current beach conditions.

Lifeguard locations throughout Dare County and their times of operation for 2024 are as follows.

Please reference the website listed for each of the following locations for the most up-to-date information.

Beach Warning Flags

Not every day is the perfect beach day.  While weather forecasts for rain, wind and temperatures are pretty easy to understand, we can’t say the same for the ocean.


The National Weather Service issues forecast and hazard statements for all ocean beaches on the Outer Banks. When they do, a “rip current risk level” is set at LOW, MODERATE or HIGH.  While the title seems to focus on life threatening rip currents, other “hidden hazards” like longshore current and shorebreak are also included.


With ocean rescue staff always having a keen eye on the actual conditions, the forecast “risk level” at times needs to be adjusted, leading local lifeguards to work with the pros at the weather service to get it right.


To help keep you safe, expected ocean hazards and risks you may face at ocean beaches are then shared using Beach Warnings Flags.  The flags are flown at lifeguarded beaches and on roving ocean rescue patrol vehicles.


The images below show what typical flags look like. Just click on an image and check out when they will fly and actions you should take to ensure your safety at the beach.  


No matter what flag is flying, whenever you are on the beach know your location, when possible swim near a lifeguard and always heed the advice/directions provided by local ocean rescue personnel.

Please note, as staffing levels and conditions on the beach change, Outer Banks lifeguard stand locations may be shifted to roving patrol or closed.  Please heed words of caution, advisories and/or the flying of red (no swimming) flags. These are issued for your safety.

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