Surfers hope to capitalize on Dorian’s high surf but stress safety

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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — As Hurricane Dorian makes its way up north, surfers in Rhode Island are preparing to take to the waves it creates.

But with the increased wave activity comes the potential for dangerously rough surf and rip currents.

Weather Blog: Risk of rip currents increases with Dorian »

The National Weather Service forecasts a high risk of riptide with the arrival of Hurricane Dorian beginning Friday night and extending into Saturday.

Charlie Brown of Deer Field Beach, Florida, escaped the storm’s immediate path by taking a trip to New England. He said the waves at Narragansett Town Beach are already building as Dorian moves closer.

“It could get really big based on what we saw today, occasional chest-high stuff, and it will get bigger than that,” Brown said.

Tracking Dorian: Live updates, interactive tracking map »

Ashaway surfer Emma Weiss said she felt the winds and currents picking up while in the water on Wednesday.

“The currents are pretty strong,” she said.

Both Weiss and Brown agreed that if the surf continues to build, they will most likely stay out of the water.

“I would say if you’re a good, experienced surfer, you’ve been in some waves, get in and have some fun,” Brown said. “If not, you want to be real careful.”

Since Labor Day, town beaches have not been staffed with lifeguards. Surfers are urged to remain vigilant as the waves grow.

Anyone caught in a rip current should swim sideways, parallel to the beach. Swimming against a rip current will make it harder to escape.

Learn More: Beach and Rip Current Safety »

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