Access and Park Issues
opens two of three lifeguarded beaches on the seashore
the summer months, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore provides three
The beaches are usually open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
This year, the lifeguarded beaches at Coquina Beach on Bodie Island and
the Ocracoke Day Use Are will open on Saturday, May 29.
Paul Stevens, the chief law enforcement ranger for the seashore, said
yesterday that he hopes the lifeguarded beach in Buxton will be open
Stevens said the holdup was not a matter of funding, but of Park
Service procedures. All candidates must undergo a federal
background check. The hiring he said was done weeks ago for this
summer’s lifeguards, but the background checks are still not complete
on some potential employees.
Stevens added that since the Park Service has hired so far only enough
guards for two beaches, officials decided on Coquina Beach and Ocracoke
because both have established bathhouses.
The Buxton beach has also opened later than the others in the past.
Keeping lifeguards until Labor Day is also a problem, Stevens said.
Many are college students who must return to school by mid-August.
Last summer the Buxton beach closed earlier than Coquina and Ocracoke.
Lifeguards will be on duty from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a week.
“Before going to the beach, please check with local weather sources for
updated surf and rip current conditions,” the Park Service said in a
media release. “Planning your visit to Cape Hatteras National Seashore
will enhance your enjoyment and comfort. Having an accident
spoil any vacation. Please observe all rules and regulations
your safety. Know your limits and understand the hazards.
Do not swim in hazardous surf. Please watch your children in
and near the water at all times.
LIFE. Use caution to avoid jellyfish and stingrays. If stung
jellyfish, do not touch irritated skin or wash with fresh
Shuffle feet lightly while wading to scare stingrays away.
CURRENTS. Rip currents are strong river-like currents that move away
from the shore. If caught in a rip current, stay calm, wave
assistance, and swim parallel to shore. Don't swim against the
current. Once out of the current swim directly to shore.
more information on rip currents
Local rip current forecast:
Click on marine forecasts on the left side of the screen. Look for rip
current information forecast.
National Park Service – Cape Hatteras Seashore
Island Visitor Center – 252-995-4474
Island Ranger Station – 252-995-5044
Island ranger station – 252-928-5111
Visitor Center -- 252-928-4531