Rip Currents

Rip Currents

Rip currents are strong and narrow currents which move directly away from the shore as pictured above. Rip currents can be very scary and very dangerous if you don’t know what is happening or what to do. A rip current is not the same as undertow. It simply carries objects (including people) beyond the breaking of waves.

Contrary to popular belief, a rip current will not pull you under the water and the current is much stronger near the surface of the water.

How to spot a rip current:

  • Look for a calm looking spot in the tide that is absent of waves
  • Foam that looks like a river moving out to sea
  • The area is a different color than surrounding water


Rip Currents
The rip current is a different color & looks calmer than other areas

What do I do if I get caught in a rip current?

  • STAY CALM and DO NOT PANIC
  • Call for help if you are not a strong swimmer
  • Float or tread water until the current carries you out to a point that you can swim out of it. -if you swim against to current you will tire out and may drown.
  • Swim parallel to the shoreline to swim out of the rip current
  • Swim diagonally towards the shore once you are out of the rip current.

Here is a website which explains rip currents:

Rip Current Survival Guide
DR. GREG DUSEK: A rip current is a narrow, fast-moving channel of water that starts near the beach and extends offshore through the line of breaking waves. If you do get caught in a rip current, the best thing you can do is stay calm.



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