Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Things To Do

Things To Do

Swimming in the ocean is not the same as swimming in a pool or lake. Wind, waves, the change of the tide, the slope of the beach and other factors can cause strong currents to be present in the water even on the calmest days. Currents in the inlets can be especially dangerous.

Ocean conditions can change from day to day and from hour to hour. Before going in the water, spend a few moments watching the waves. Wave patterns are a good indicator of the presence of currents and where deep water and other "surprises" are located. Know what to expect before you go in the water.

Of special concern are rip currents. Certain weather conditions can make these currents stronger and more dangerous. The National Weather Service now post rip current forecasts for area beaches. Weak swimmers and children are advised to stay out of the ocean when there is an increased threat of rip currents, and even strong swimmers should stay out of the ocean on dangerous days.