PWN Explains: What Is A Rip Current?

PWN Explains: What Is A Rip Current?

If you’re planning on heading to the beach this summer, there is some important information you should know before you walk yourself into the waves.

Know BEFORE you enter the water what a rip current is and how to escape it.

Rip currents are channelized currents of water flowing away from the shore at beaches.  Typically, they form at breaks in sandbars and also near structures, like jetties and piers.  They are common at most beaches.

Here’s how to survive a rip current…

  • Rip currents don’t pull you under.
  • A rip current is a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second, but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second — faster than an Olympic swimmer. Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current.
  • Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • If at all possible, only swim at beaches with lifeguards.
  • If you choose to swim on beaches without a lifeguard, never swim alone.  Take a friend and have that person take a cell phone so he or she can call 911 for help.

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