Nags Head To Allow Experienced Bodyboarders In Red Flag Conditions
Experienced bodyboarders that meet new standards will now be permitted to into the ocean under red flag “no swimming” conditions, along with surfers, within the town of Nags Head, after a recent ordinance change was approved last month.
At their January 21 meeting, Nags Head’s Board of Commissioners changed their red “no swimming” flag ordinance to allow experienced bodyboarders, with equipment meeting certain criteria, into the ocean when swimming has been prohibited due to dangerous surf conditions.
During hazardous surf conditions, the town manager can prohibit swimming in the ocean until conditions improve. Red flags are flown at each public beach access while swimming is prohibited.
Prior to the change made last week surfers using a board with a fin and a leash were allowed into the water during red flag conditions. Now, those with high-performance bodyboards, which are not typically used by swimmers unfamiliar our area’s rip currents, can enter the water when swimming has been prohibited. Bodyboards made of Styrofoam or having a nylon mesh cover and woven cord leash do not meet the criteria for the exemption.
Historically, seasoned bodyboarders, like proficient surfers, have not been responsible for many ocean rescues. On the contrary, they often provide immediate assistance to swimmers in distress until professional lifeguards arrive.
Click here to read the new ordinance.
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