Ocean Rip Currents

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Break the grip of the Rip!

What to do if you are caught in an Ocean Rip Current?

Rip Current are powerful current of water moving away from shore. They can sweep even the strongest swimmer out to sea.

If Caught in a rip current do the following

  • Don’t fight the current
  • Swim out of the current (parallel to shore), then swim to shore
  • If you can’t escape, float or tread water
  • If you need help, call or waive for assistance from Lifeguards

Ocean Safety

  • Know how to swim
  • Never Swim Alone
  • If in doubt, don’t go out

Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Rip currents often occur alongside fixed objects in the water. Be aware of ocean conditions.

What is a Rip Current?

A rip current is a seaward-moving current that circulates water back to sea after it is pushed ashore by waves. Each wave accumulates water on shore, creating seaward pressure. This pressure is released in an area with the least amount of resistance, which is usually the deepest point along the ocean floor. Rip currents also occur in areas where the strength of the waves is weakened by objects such as rock jetties, piers, natural reefs, and even large groups of bathers. Rip currents often look like muddy rivers flowing away from shore. They are sometimes mistakenly called “rip tides” or “undertows.” These are misnomers. Rip currents are not directly associated with tides and they do not pull people under. Try to avoid swimming where rip currents are present; but if you become caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until the pull stops, and then swim back to shore. If you are unable to return to the beach, tread water and wave for lifeguard assistance.

Learn more about Ocean Rip Currents 

www.ripcurrent.noaa.gov

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