Rip Currents: What You Need to Know

The beach can be a fun place but also -
Posted at 12:47 PM, Jul 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-02 12:47:36-04

It's that time of year when many will be hitting the beach to enjoy the sun & surf.

But the beach can also be a dangerous place. Rip currents account for 80% of beach rescues, and can be dangerous or deadly if you don't know what to do.

Rip currents are currents of water flowing away from the shore at surf beaches. They typically extend from near the shoreline, through the surf zone and past the line of breaking waves. The surf zone is the area between the high tide level on the beach to the seaward side of breaking waves.

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Here are a few tips on how to stay safe this summer at the beach:

1. First & foremost, never swim alone.

2. Check with the lifeguard before you go in the water about the potential hazards.

3. If you get stuck in a rip current, remain calm.  Never fight against the current. Try to swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline.

4. If you see someone in trouble, don’t become a victim too. Get help from a lifeguard or call 911.