Dont Swim Towards Shore A Rip Current Survival Tip

Dated: 06/02/2014

Views: 1506

Every year thousands of people get caught in Rip Currents, (commonly mistakenly referred to as Rip-Tides), and every year hundreds of people die,  not from drowning,  but from the sheer exhaustion of fruitlessly trying to free themselves. 

The main keys to remember are,
  1. Stay Calm, conserve your energy and do not try to fight against the current.
  2. Swim parallel to the shore until you are outside of the current. Depending on the situation this may be up to 300 feet.
  3. Once free from the current look to where waves are breaking indicating movement towards the beach, where it is then safe to swim in to shore.
  4. In a worse case situation, relax and float and/or tread water until help arrives. In general Rip Currents are usually not wider then a few yards and staying calm is all you may need to do.
One common misconception is that rip currents can actually pull you underwater. However the opposite is in fact true. The strongest current is at the surface and it is not always visible to the naked eye lulling swimmers into it.

Rip Current rescues account for upwards of 80% of all lifeguard events and should not be attempted by the untrained passerby. If you do see someone struggling with a rip current call 911 and wait for help.
Rip Currents occur most often in shoreline low spots or near sandbars while Rip Tides are actually the fast moving water occurring through tidal inlets and at the mouths of rivers, streams, estuaries and harbors. 

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