There is a high risk of rip currents on the South Fork's ocean beaches, according to the National Weather Service, and the risk will likely continue through the weekend.
While Wednesday's rip current statement expires at 8 p.m., the NWS advises that ocean swells from Hurricane Leslie are expected to affect the coast for days. The swells are currently forecast at 4 to 6 feet.
"Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore, which occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers," the NWS explains.
If caught in a rip current, the NWS advises remaining calm and swimming parallel with the shore. "Once you are away from the force of the rip current, begun to swim back to the beach," the NWS states. "Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current.
"Even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly."