6 Expert Tips on How to Stay Safe in a Rip Current

6 Expert Tips on How to Stay Safe in a Rip Current | SeaShore Realty

The beach is a popular destination for people all around the world. It's a great place to relax, soak up some sun, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. However, the beach is also where things can happen without proper safety precautions. In this blog, we'll cover some of the most important tips about rip currents so you can be alert and stay safe during your visits to the beach. 

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What is a rip current? 

A rip current is when water near the beach suddenly turns into a strong current that flows straight out from the shore into the ocean, taking everything in the current out toward the sea. These currents can form even without a storm or bad weather.

In this two-minute video, you will see a demonstration of how a rip current forms.

How to spot a rip current

Rip currents are hard to see from the beach unless you're on higher ground, like a lifeguard stand or pier. However, despite this, there are still signs you can look for to help identify one. In this short two-minute video, you can learn what to look for. However, it's important to note that if you're unsure, ask a lifeguard or someone familiar with rip currents, or only go swimming once you know it is safe.

Watch this video to learn how to spot a rip current.

Before going to the beach or getting out in the ocean

1. Know before you go out. Always check local beach forecasts and know what to expect before you go. Check for conditions at the beach or ask a lifeguard. And learn how to swim before getting out in the water.

2. Don't swim alone. If you've never been to the ocean or experienced its power firsthand, you may think it is like swimming in a pool. But pools don't have waves and currents pulling you as you swim. Don't underestimate the power of the ocean. Take someone with you, and always let people on the beach know where you are going.

3. Be alert and aware. Before getting into the ocean, always check for signs of danger. Observe other people on the beach and in the water, watch how the water flows, and look for objects and marine life that could become hazardous. If a lifeguard is on duty, check with them to see if they know any dangers. And if it doesn't feel safe, wait.

What to do if you get caught in a rip current

1. Stay calm, conserve energy, and don't fight the current. To save your energy, stay calm, lean back, and tread water until you can get your bearings about you. The current will keep taking you out; however, if you resist the urge to fight it, you can swim back once the rip current dissipates, or you are able to swim away from the direction it is going.

2. Swim parallel or alongside the beach. Do not try to swim towards the shore because this will go against the current, wasting your energy. Even top athletes and swimmers are unable to outswim a powerful rip current. After you get your bearings about you, look toward the beach and see if you can swim away from the rip current, either parallel or at an angle.

3. Call for help. If you get stuck in a rip current and can't swim out of it, wave your arms and yell for help or use a whistle. If there is a lifeguard on duty, they are trained to respond to emergencies like rip currents and will rush to help you.

Videos are incredibly helpful in understanding how rip currents work and how to stay safe. Here is another two-minute video to reinforce what to do if caught in one and add other helpful tips.

If you see someone else in a rip current, don't try to swim out to them and risk your safety. Call for help immediately, then see if you can throw them a floatation device or guide them, but don't try to be a hero. Helping exhausted people in emergencies requires special training. Let the well-trained lifeguards do what they're good at and call 911 if need be.

In conclusion, rip currents can be dangerous, but if you prepare before you go, you will likely stay safe. The important thing is to keep alert when at the beach because this will help you stay safe. And that means having a great time at the beach!   

6 Expert Tips on How to Stay Safe in a Rip Current | SeaShore Realty

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