Outgoing ocean currents – called rip currents – are the #1 danger for people at beaches. More than 100 people die each year after getting caught in them. Typical flow is 1-2 feet per second (0.5 meters per second), but they can flow faster – faster than a human can swim. Learn what to do if you get caught in a rip current, in this video. And share with your kids! Brought to you by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Some main points about rip currents – see video for more information:
– Observe signs of rip currents like breaks in the waves, debris being carried out to sea, and others (see video).
– Don’t try to fight a rip current. Swim sideways, along the line of the beach, and then angle back toward the beach.
– If you see someone caught in a rip current, call 911 or a lifeguard – don’t try to rescue them yourself.
By the way, you’ll often hear rip currents called simply a rip, or you might hear them called by the misnomer rip tide. They really have nothing to do with tides.
Bottom line: Rip currents can flow faster than humans can swim. This video explains what to do if you get caught in one.
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