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Dangers and Annoyances
Hurricanes & Tropical Storms
Hurricane season extends from June to November. When a hurricane approaches, the Town officials will issue either a mandatory or a voluntary evacuation. During a mandatory evacuation, everyone must leave the island and go further inland. This includes both vacationers and permanent residents. After the mandatory evacuation is executed, the bridges are secured by the state police and no vehicles are allowed on the island until the evacuation is lifted. During a voluntary evacuation the individual can decide whether they leave the island or not, but they are given instructions to take in porch furniture and secure windows and doors, etc. The Weather Channel issues early warnings so there is ample time for citizens to prepare. Newspapers, radio and television stations keep the public notified about evacuations as well as re-entry information.
Sensible Surf Safety
There are no lifeguards at Emerald Isle beaches, so use caution while swimming. Do not swim alone or at dusk.
Be especially aware of Rip Currents. Often mistakenly called "undertows," these powerful currents can pull the most experienced swimmer away from the shore. They are formed when water rushes out to sea in a narrow path. Rip currents can extend 1,000 feet off-shore, reach 100 feet in width and travel up to 3 mph. Some are present for a few hours; others are permanent. Rip currents are more prevalent after storms.
If you're caught in a rip current, don't panic or swim against the current. Swim parallel to shore until you are out of the current. Rip currents are rarely more than 30 feet wide. If you can't break out of the current, float calmly until it dissipates, usually just beyond the breakers. Then swim diagonally to shore. If you don't swim well, stay in wading depths and watch for sudden drop offs.
Limit your time in the sun during peak hours. While these times may vary slightly depending on the season and where you live, this is normally between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Keep covered up. Floppy hats and large umbrellas work well but so do beach cover-ups and the like. Use sunscreen on any exposed areas. An SPF of 45+ is recommended for it allows even the fairest skinned folks to stay out in the sun for a few hours before reapplying. Try Vaseline or chapstick on your lips. Follow the instructions on sunscreen carefully; reapply when it says to reapply or it may not work properly. Always reapply after leaving the water, as it'll have washed off. Don't forget hard-to-reach places. Don't forget to cover the backs of your knees, back of your neck, elbows and back of your ears (if you have short hair). Feet should also be included if you are wearing sandals, flip-flops or going bare-foot. Even these places can hurt a lot with sunburn. Put a small amount of oil or sunscreen in your hair so you will avoid burning your scalp. Or cover it with a hat. Some shampoos and hair conditioners contain SPF protection. Putting on sun screen once isn't enough; it will wear out after awhile. It's a good idea to purchase a waterproof sunscreen and apply it liberally whether you think you'll be going in the water or not.
Avoid wool or synthetics with sun-burn though you'll be most comfortable with no clothing on the affected area. If you do get sunburn, aloe vera gel is an extremely soothing and non-toxic solution. Buy it in tubes or tubs and generously coat your sunburn. No need to rub it in, it'll do that on its own. Sit on stools or other places with no backs to push into your skin. Sleep with only a sheet to cover you that evening. Keep slathering on the aloe vera gel to soothe you. And, keep lights darkened in the house to help your eyes recover from the sun glare and to help trick your mind into thinking things are a little cooler around you. Vinegar makes the stinging stop, although it's better to do at home than when you are going out because of the smell. Since it's hard to put sunscreen around your eyes, wear large sunglasses for a physical barrier. You can also wear eyeshadow instead of sunscreen around your eyes.
Unlike most people think, there is only a remote chance of being attacked by a shark. Only about 25 (more or less) people a year get bitten by sharks worldwide. About three of these attacks are fatal. When you compare this to the number of people who go in the water, this is a very small percentage.
To reduce your risk of shark bites even further you can take the following precautions: Do not swim alone, as sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual. Do not wander far from shore. Avoid the water at dawn or during twilight hours when sharks are most active. Don't wear bright clothing and reflective jewelry that attracts the attention of sharks and other fish. Avoid thrashing about wildly - excessive splashing attract sharks. For this reason, it is advised that you not swim with pets. Do not swim near fishing stations. Stay away from inlets, fishing piers, steep drop offs and the areas between sandbars - these are favorite hangouts for sharks. If you see a shark, calmly leave the water as quickly and quietly as possible.
Alcohol Related Incidents
The effects of alcohol are amplified by the heat and sun of a summer afternoon, so be aware. It's illegal to operate water-craft or motor vehicles if you have had too much to drink whether or not you are on vacation. North Carolina Law Enforcement observes a strict .08 blood alcohol level limit, so be prudent while enjoying your frozen Margaritas! You do not want to take home from this vacation the legal problems associated with a Driving While Intoxicated citation. Alcohol and swimming is also a potentially deadly combination. Even small amounts of alcohol can give you a false sense of security and make you take abnormal risks.
Jelly Fish Stings
Watch for jellyfish floating on the surface or in the water. While some can give little more than an annoying stinging sensation, others can produce severe discomfort.
Jellyfish stings occur when the stinging cells on the jellyfish's tentacles touch your skin then release a poison that can cause a temporary burning pain and skin rash. In serious cases, the stings may cause cramps, difficulty breathing, shock, nausea or vomiting.
If the tentacles get in your eyes, rinse them with room temperature water for at least 15 minutes. Do not use vinegar or other remedies in the eyes. If the tentacles are not in your eyes, pour vinegar on the site to help prevent the stinging cells from firing, then remove the tentacles with a cloth or stick (not your hands). Ice packs may help control pain. In severe cases, contact the doctor for further advice.
Portuguese Man-Of-War Stings
The Portuguese Man-of-War is sometimes blown onto Outer Banks beaches after storms. It can be recognized by its bluish tint balloon-like shape. Portuguese Man-of-War stings occur when the stinging cells on its tentacles touch your skin, then release a poison that can cause severe pain. In serious cases the stings may cause cramps, difficulty breathing, shock, nausea or vomiting. Anyone who is stung by the tentacles and develops breathing difficulties or generalized body swelling should be transported to the nearest emergency facility for treatment. Use Ice packs to help control the pain.
If the hook is imbedded in the eye, ear, nose, joint, bone or other critical area, stabilize it where it is, and transport the person to a medical facility. Remove fish hooks only if they are surface snags or if you cannot get to a medical facility. If you are going to remove the hook, wash the area and hook with an antiseptic solution such as Betadine (or Providone - iodine solution) and then hot, soapy water to lessen the change of infection, then numb the area with clean ice and decide which hook removal method is best. To remove surface snags, sterilize a razor blade or sharp knife with Betadine or heat, then cut through the skin to the bard and remove the hook. If the hook is more deeply imbedded, use the push and cut method: Use needle-nose pliers to push the barb out through the skin; cut the bard off with bolt cutters and pull the rest of the hook out in the opposite direction.
Sooner or later seasickness strikes every mariner. Back at the dock, we often make light of these attacks, but extended seasickness can lead to serious consequences. If you are prone to seasickness here are some preventive measures you can take. Start your voyage with a positive attitude. Stay on deck in a well-ventilated area and keep your eyes on the horizon if possible. Place yourself in a stable part of the vessel like the cockpit rather than the flying bridge. For some people, lying down does help. For others it makes it worse. Avoid greasy spicy foods, alcohol, tobacco, dairy products, caffeine and fuel smells if possible. In almost all cases, people do better if they have a little bland food like plain crackers in their stomachs. If you think you may be seasick on a trip, plan ahead. Most seasickness medications must be taken one hour in advance to be effective. In the early stages of seasickness, you may be able to reverse its course by getting fresh air, eating bland crackers, drinking flat clear soda like ginger ale or getting off the boat! If seasickness progresses to the vomiting stage, it will take one of two paths. The first is that after vomiting for a while, you get your sea legs and recover. Many long time boaters have bouts of seasickness at the beginning of a voyage and then are cured for the boating season. If you continue to vomit you should return to shore if at all possible. In extreme cases you may need to contact a physician.
Once You're Here
Be sure to check out the information below to find out everything you'll need to know when you arrive.
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Description: Bluewater Vacation Rentals: Dangers and Annoyances
Title: Bluewater Vacation Rentals: Dangers and Annoyances
Terms: Bluewater Vacation Rentals, Rental Information, Dangers and Annoyances
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