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What Are Rip Currents?

What Are Rip Currents?

Rip currents are dangerous channels of fast-moving water that can quickly drag swimmers and debris out to sea. With a speed of up to eight feet per second, they can quickly pull you from the shoreline and into the deep waters. They are often not very obvious and sometimes sudden.

But they are no reason to stop you from enjoying the beach. Rip currents are a fact of life in many coastal areas, but they shouldn’t mean tragedy. Here are steps to help you deal with rip currents if they ever pull you in.

Don’t Try To Swim Against The Rip Current, Or You’ll Get Exhausted

If caught in a rip current, do not panic. Most people often panic and try to swim straight back to shore. The problem is that it’s nearly impossible due to fatigue and adrenaline.

Rip currents are strong, and trying to fight them will leave you exhausted. The panic might also leave you without air. The result is drowning.

The best way to save yourself from rip currents is to try and swim parallel to the shore. When you notice less drag, you can swim diagonally or at an angle back to the beach.

If You Can Stand, Wade Don’t Swim

Another way to deal with rip currents is to wade or walk instead of swimming. Stand up and walk back towards shore if the water is shallow enough. It’s best not to swim against a rip current.

Your legs on the bottom of the water will give you much more stability and control. Ensure you don’t lift your feet too high off the bottom.

Raise Your Hand And Shout For Help

Raise Your Hand And Shout For HelpIf you get pulled out to sea by a rip current, the best thing to do is stay calm and raise your hand for help. Even if you can swim parallel to the beach, ensure you call for help while at it. A hand gesture calling for help will alert people on the beach that you are in distress.

Shout for help and get the attention of lifeguards, beachgoers, or people around you. It will help them focus on the exact location to rescue you in time.

It’s also worth mentioning that you should not go out swimming in the sea alone. Ensure there are lifeguards or at least one person around.

Rip currents are a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be dangerous. However, they shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying a day at the beach. Learn these few tips to stay prepared. Also, remember to carry all your equipment for maximum beach experience and convenience. Have fun, and stay safe!

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