Swimmer and boaters are urged to take extra precautions today and tomorrow.
The National Weather Service in Charleston issued a rip current warning for the area through 8 p.m. this evening.
Swells from Hurricane Katia continue to build across the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. High winds and waves are expected to increase the risk of strong rip currents late this morning into the evening.
The currents can be life threatening to anyone who enters the surf, according to the weather service.
An enhanced risk of rip currents could continue for several more days, according to forecasts.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore. They occur most often at low spots or breaks in the sandbar and near groins, jetties and piers.
Those headed to the beach should pay attention to flags and posted signs and heed the advice of lifeguards, according to the weather service.
As of 10 a.m., there was a "light chop" of 2-foot waves on Hilton Head Island, according to Alan Reece, general manager of Shore Beach Services.
"Right now, there are no caution flags out, but that could change. We'll continue to monitor the situation," Reece said.
If caught in a rip current, remain calm and swim parallel to shore. Once free from the current, swim back to shore. Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current because it can lead to exhaustion and drowning.
Rip currents do not pull people under water, but away from shore.
Small watercraft were also advised to stay close to shore this evening.
The remnants of Tropical Depression Lee will lift northeast across the southern Appalachian through Tuesday, with a trailing cold front, according to the weather service. Then front is then expected to to become stationary offshore later in the week, causing Hurricane Katia to turn and pass offshore, according to forecasts.
The small craft advisory remains in effect from 6 p.m. through Wednesday morning 20 nautical miles out from Edisto Beach to Savannah.
The advisory means winds of 20 to 33 knots and seas of six feet or greater over the Atlantic are expected to produce hazardous conditions for small boats.
This afternoon and evening, expect winds of 10 to 20 knots with gusts up to 25 knots, scattered showers, isolated thunderstorms and waves of three to five feet building to four to six feet after midnight, according to the weather service.
Katia was about 600 miles south-southeast of Bermuda early Monday morning as a slightly weaker category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph. The storm was expected to become a major hurricane by Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.