Virginia Beach lifeguards rescued 22 swimmers Sunday

Posted at 2:37 PM, Aug 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-10 14:37:42-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --  Red flags returned Monday at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront after dangerous rip currents left swimmers in need of help over the weekend.

A combination of northeast winds and high waves created exceptionally strong rip currents over the weekend. Though conditions have calmed down as of Monday, the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service says they want people to remain cautious, according to WTKR.

Deputy Chief of the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service, Tom Gill, says 22 swimmers were pulled from the water at the Oceanfront on Sunday and three people were pulled from the water on Saturday, but everyone was able to get out safely.

“This is one of our strongest wave days and wind combinations of the summer so far,” says Deputy Chief Gill. “It can be very dangerous for people inexperienced in these kinds of conditions and even people, fairly strong swimmers, it can be very dangerous.”

Virginia Beach had red flags up all weekend and a knee-deep restriction.

The National Weather Service says there is a moderate rip current risk Monday for the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Sandbridge, and the beaches of Currituck County. There is a high rip current risk for the beaches of the Outer Banks from Duck to Rodanthe and Rodanthe to Cape Hatteras. From Cape Hatteras to Hatteras Inlet, there is a low risk.

 “If we’re getting these conditions, it’s not unlikely that they’re going to be getting even worse, something even bigger, with a lot stronger rip currents,” says Deputy Chief Gill.