Surf City installing safety stations on all 39 beach accesses

SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) – One beach town is taking extra steps to keep everyone safe. Surf City is putting up safety stations along the dunes.

The stations are supposed to be easy to understand. Signs are posted with information about water conditions, and how to help a swimmer in case of an emergency.

Surf City Fire Chief Allen Wilson believes the safety stations will make a big impact on beachgoers this summer.

“We really believe that this new system is going to provide the residents and beachgoers a lot more information at their fingertips,” said Chief Wilson.

It’s something Surf City Mayor Teresa Batts says has the power to make a difference.

“We want to save lives we don’t want we don’t want to lose anyone,” said Mayor Batts.

Last year there were 47 swimming-related incidents, and two people drowned. The town hopes these new stations will turn the tide.

At the station, you’ll find a sign with information about beach conditions and how to help someone if they are in trouble.

“Life safety information, what are the beach conditions of the day? Is it an elevated risk? Is it a high risk, or also, what are some things you should look for when we talk about beach safety?” said Chief Wilson.

Although Chief Wilson says you should always call 911 first if you see someone in need of help, something as simple as a floatation device can help save a life.

“If there is a bystander that is very confident in their swimming ability and feels like they can safely and effectively go out and affect the rescue, then we at least want to provide them with a flotation device. Because many people come to the beach, they don’t have flotation,” said Chief Wilson.

He says beachgoers can grab the device, attach it to themselves, and then throw it out to the person in need of help.

It’s all an effort to keep swimmers safe during their next trip to the beach.

“Swimming in the ocean, there’s always a hazard and there’s always a risk. But if you adhere to some of the principles that we like to put out there when swimming in the ocean, it can be a fun and enjoyable activity,” said Wilson.

Chief Wilson says it’s very important not to swim alone and to make sure small children don’t swim alone either.

Currently, there are 11 of the 39 stations up on the beach. Wilson says the city hopes to have them all installed within the coming weeks.