Rip Currents & Rules of the Beach
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says beach goers should always be on the lookout for rip currents. The wave phenomenon doesn’t just happen during and after bad weather – rip currents can also occur on beautiful, sunny days.Â
According to this NOAA photo, the space in between the two arrows indicates the presence of a rip current, as seen from the beach. According to weather agency, rip currents are channelized currents of water flowing away from shore at surf beaches. Typically, they form at breaks in sandbars, and also near structures, such as jetties and piers, as well as cliffs that jut into the water. Rip currents are common and can be found on most surf beaches, including the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico. If it’s not a great swim day, here’s suggestions for other activities in Destin, Fl area.
How to Survive a Rip Current:
- Don’t fight the current. It’s 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.
- Relax and float to conserve energy. Staying calm may save your life.
- Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim parallel to 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: Wave and yell…swim parallel!