At least 400 swimmers pulled from rip currents in NC, VA over July 4th holiday weekend
Strong rip currents prompted lifeguards to pull about 200 swimmers from the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina over the holiday weekend.
Tom Gill is chief of the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service. He told The Virginian-Pilot that the city's more than 180 rescues was a high number, even for a holiday weekend.
Authorities reported 21 rescues on Hatteras Island.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington said Carolina Beach had 61 water rescues just on Saturday, and there were around a dozen each at Wrightsville and Kure Beaches.
On Sunday, there were a total of 124 water rescues, with more than 70 at Carolina Beach alone.
The rescues follow at least 10 deaths last month that authorities attributed to rip currents along the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama and Florida.
So far this year, the National Weather Service reports that 57 people have died this year in the U.S. because of rip currents.
**Associated Press contributed to this report