Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Newport/Morehead, NC

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Graphics & Text | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
NOUS42 KMHX 081453

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC
1053 AM EDT Thu Jun 8 2017


The week of June 4th through June 10th has been declared rip current
preparedness week by the governor of North Carolina. Today we will be
discussing the dangers of strong shorebreak and how to protect
yourself from getting injured in large breaking waves.

Shorebreak is defined as the breaking of waves onto the shore or
beach. The power of the surf can cause injuries to extremities and
the cervical spine. These injuries often require emergency medical
care and affect even the most knowledgeable swimmers.

Spinal cord injuries occur at our nations beaches every year,
usually as a result of diving headfirst into the water or being
tumbled in the surf by the force of the wave action. These injuries
can result in complete paralysis and even death. Several types of
injuries can occur due to strong shorebreak. Hyperextension occurs
when the head becomes forced back further than it can extend,
fracturing the bones in the back of the neck and tearing the
supporting ligaments in the front. Hyperflexion occurs when the head
is pushed forward until the chin is forced against the chest,
fracturing the bones at the front of the neck. Rotational injury
occurs when the head and body rotate in opposite directions severely
twisting the ligaments, bones and spinal cord to the point where
they may rupture. Vertical compression occurs when the head is
forced down onto the shoulders with great pressure, compressing the
spinal cord and possibly fracturing the bones in the neck.

The following are some safety tips to avoid getting injured when
encountering the shorebreak. Do not run into the ocean and dive head
first into the waves. Sandbars that cannot be seen from the surface
may be present and or the water may be too shallow. If you are body
surfing or boogie boarding, or you get tumbled due to a wave
breaking over you, keep your arms out in front of you to protect
your head and neck.

Tomorrow we will discuss the dangers of longshore currents and
strong offshore winds. You can visit for
all the local forecast products from the national weather
service, including the surf zone forecast.

$$ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.