Labor Day beachgoers aware of rip currents

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. - It's one of the busiest weekends all summer at the beach. The Labor Day holiday brought tens of thousands to the northeast Florida coast to enjoy the sun and sand.

But lifeguards were urging people to be careful because there is a moderate rip current risk.

"I tell them to not go too far and to stay close," said beachgoer Lenette Jean.

Lifeguards said they were aggressively keeping people out of the danger and close to shore.

"We have been on our whistles pretty consistent this whole weekend, but we haven't had to make any rescues," said Capt. Rich Banks, of Neptune Beach Ocean Rescue.

Last week, lifeguards flew red flags and told swimmers to stay out of the water. Monday they flew yellow flags.

"The danger level is just caution," Banks said. "Use caution, listen to lifeguards, swim near your lifeguard."

Some beachgoers said even though they are good swimmers, it's not a bad idea to keep close.

"I like to stay close to lifeguards," Bryan Merit said. "I'll be free. I have some buddies that are around, just make sure to stay safe and to stay above the water. It has worked so far. No issues at all."

Lifeguards said the worst time for rip currents is when the tide is low and the sandbars are there, which is about 6:30 p.m.

If you are caught in a rip current, don't panic and swim parallel to the shore until you are out of it. Then you can make your way back to the beach.

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