Beach Safety At Sunset Beach:

Our beach is generally very calm and family-friendly. But it still is the ocean, and you need to be aware of your surroundings while you plan on the strand and in the water. Here are a few things to be aware of:

Swimming At Sunset Beach

The island does not have life-guards; we swim at our own risk in the ocean. So make sure you swim with a partner, and keep a close eye on children in your group. Surfing is not allowed between 5th Street and 31st Street in the middle of Sunset Beach. Don't swim near the fishing pier in the center of the island (those fishermen up top have hooks on the ends of their lines!).

There Are Creatures In The Sea

We're not the only ones enjoying a swim in the ocean most days. But if we are smart, everyone can stay to themselves without any problems.

The most common concern during parts of the season is with Jellyfish. Make sure your children know not to touch them (as interesting as they look!). If they get stung by one, rinse off any remaining tentacles with ocean water (not fresh water). Then rinse with vinegar (again, not fresh water). If there is any swelling, shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately.

Shark attacks get lots of press attention, but rarely happen in our parts. Though sharks can be found off-shore, they prefer to avoid humans. Stay away from fishing piers or fisherman with bait, or where seagulls or other birds might be diving and feeding in the water. Stay out of schools of fish when you are swimming.

Watch For Rip Currents

Based on certain weather conditions, rip currents can form along any beach strand. These are fast-moving water channels that form along the coast, usually near sandbars and piers, or in inlets between barrier islands such as Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach. They can be difficult to see, but usually will have one of these trademarks:

  • a channel of churning, choppy water
  • an area with noticeable difference in water color
  • a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving out to sea
  • a break in the incoming wave pattern

Our beaches are loved because they generally are very calm and don't have a huge drop in water depth close to the strand. But we still each need to be careful, and make sure that everyone in our party knows how to react if they get caught in a rip current while swimming or playing in the ocean. Share this chart with your family before you head to the beach:

Rip Current Graphic

Watch The Sun

We love our weather here at Sunset Beach-we get plenty of sunshine along the beach strand. But even on what appears to be a 'cloudy' day, you will be surprised at the amount of sun you are exposed to if you spend any time on the beach strand. Be smart: apply a high SPF sunscreen before you get started, drink plenty of water during the day, and then get out of the sun once you start feeling tired. Trying to get too much sun the first day or two of your stay may ruin the rest of the vacation with a nasty case of sunburn!

Fill Those Holes!

Whether for sandcastles or just looking for treasures, everyone seems to love to dig in the sand at the beach! Enjoy it while you do, but help us honor the 'leave just your footprints' thought by filling in your holes when you get ready to leave the strand. We don't want someone to trip and hurt themselves in the same hole, or have a sea turtle get stuck as they come ashore.

Be Careful In Your Boat

Boating is regulated in North Carolina by the NC Wildlife Resource Commission. You can find the current boating regulations online.

Sunset Beach has a popular boat ramp on the mainland at the end of Sunset Blvd next to Twin Lakes Restaurant where you can launch from. You can rent boats and jet skis from area vendors as well (just ask our staff for recommendations).