Powerful rip currents plagued North Carolina over the weekend, with crews rescuing more than 150 beach swimmers last week. Rip currents are anticipated to continue to be a hazard across the mid-Atlantic region until at least next weekend, Fox Weather predicted.

There were 152 rip current rescues between New Hanover and Carteret County beaches between Wednesday and Saturday, WNCN reported, with more than 80 of them taking place on Carolina Beach. 

The dangerous currents are the result of an east-southeast swell and this weekend’s full moon, according to the National Weather Service

SWIMMERS WARNED OF MORE LIFE-THREATENING RIP CURRENTS ALONG US BEACHES AFTER MULTIPLE DEATHS

Rip currents led to multiple deaths already this summer, Fox Weather reported, and the Fox Forecast Center expected them to remain a problem at least through next weekend. At least seven people have been killed by rip currents in Florida over the past several days, the outlet reported.

Sign at beach warning about rip currents

A sign warns swimmers to swim along the shoreline if they get caught in rip currents until they escape its pull. (Hutchinson Island Florida Facebook page)

Florida is seeing a high risk of rip currents along the Panhandle, while the east coast of the state from West Palm Beach to Jacksonville is seeing a moderate risk of rip currents.

Most of the North Carolina coast was at a moderate risk for rip currents over the weekend, with swimmers encouraged to swim near lifeguards. People were warned to stay out of the water in high-risk zones, which are dangerous for all levels of swimmers. 

As of Tuesday, there is a moderate risk of rip currents along Cape Hatteras and a high risk just to the south along the North Carolina coast. The National Weather service issued a beach Hazard statement for North Carolina beaches from Cape Lookout to Surf City on Tuesday to continue at least through this evening.

A reported shark bite, an alligator scare and two youths stranded nearly a half mile offshore added to the lively weekend for lifeguards and first responders in North Carolina. 

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North Carolina

Waterfront beach houses are seen on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. (John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Crews rescued two youths who had drifted about 2,000 feet out to sea on a paddle board from the coast of Oak Island on Wednesday, according to WNCN. Oak Island Water Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard were involved in the rescue around 3:35 p.m., using a drone with a camera and speaker to communicate with the two youths, the Oak Island Fire Department told the outlet. 

On Tuesday, a 20-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg while swimming off the eastern side of Sunset Beach and taken “immediately” to a hospital by Brunswick County Emergency Medical Services, according to the Sunset Beach Police Department.

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Oak Island Fire Department rescue

The U.S. Coast Guard and Oak Island Water Rescue retrieved two boys who floated nearly half a mile off the coast of Oak Island on a paddleboard last Wednesday. (Oak Island Fire Department)

The incident was initially reported as a shark bite, according to WNCN, but the department could only confirm to the outlet that a cut on the man’s leg was caused by “some sort of sea life.”

Also at Sunset Beach, an alligator lurked under a car outside a Mexican restaurant on Thursday. Although it was only 5 feet long, per WNCN, the animal’s head “looked menacing” sticking out from under the vehicle. 

Alligator in Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach Police officers had to control and relocate an alligator who positioned itself under the driver’s side of a vehicle last week. (Sunset Beach Police Department)

“When the officers arrived, the alligator was tucked under the vehicle with his head peering out from the driver’s side door, blocking access to the vehicle,” police said, per the outlet.

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Crew and police were able to get the alligator under control and take it to a nearby pond, police said.  

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