August 31, 2023

City of Virginia Beach and US Coast Guard Issue Warning of Life-Threatening Rip Currents throughout Labor Day Weekend

Children and inexperienced swimmers should not go into the water unless lifeguards are present.

City and U.S. Coast Guard officials are urging Labor Day weekend beachgoers to exercise extreme caution when going into the water, especially for children and inexperienced swimmers, due to tropical storm impacts. Strong rip currents and high surf are expected to make the water dangerous—even for the strongest swimmers.

Even if the surface weather clears and beach conditions look favorable, rip currents remain a danger to recreational beachgoers and boaters this weekend, according to the Coast Guard.

Lifeguards will be fully staffed for the weekend. The City of Virginia Beach public safety personnel and Coast Guard stand ready to respond should the need arise.

"Think twice before you go in the water this weekend, whether surfing, kiteboarding, or boating, and if you do, monitor trusted weather sources, know your limits, and plan for emergencies," said Captain Jennifer Stockwell, Commander of Coast Guard Sector Virginia.

Stay Informed

Residents are encouraged to sign up for beach status texts via the Beach Report. The text alert service notifies a resident of any type of conditions such as:

  • Red flags due to rough surf
  • Red flags due to rip currents
  • Beach closures due to water quality concerns
  • Beach closures due to electrical storms

Simply text BEACH to 67283 to enroll. You may also call 3-1-1 in Virginia Beach (or 757-385-3111) to ask about beach conditions.

Sign up for VBAlert, the City's emergency alert and warning system. Messages are automatically sent to landline telephones in affected areas of the city, but for mobile-only users to receive public safety messages by text or email, you must register as a new user online or text "VBAlert" to 67283.

Immediately report any life-threatening, on-water emergencies to the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF radio channel 16. When using a VHF radio, the Coast Guard can determine your location to expedite sending help to you. Local maritime emergencies can also be reported to Coast Guard Sector Virginia Command Center at 757-483-8567.

"The City of Virginia Beach is fortunate to work with exceptional partners in this region, especially the U.S. Coast Guard. We are all committed to public safety and ask the public to be aware of the dangerous conditions expected," said David Topczynski, director of Emergency Management.

Contact Information

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