Thursday, July 9, 2009
Rip currents result when water rushes offshore in a narrow channel. These currents can extend 1,000 feet, reach 100 feet in width, and travel up to 5 mph. This is slower than you can run, but faster than you or even an Olympic swimmer can swim. They are most prevalent after storms; some lasting a few hours, some (especially on the oceans) permanently.
■Don't fight the current.
■Swim parallel to the shore to get out of the current. Rip currents are rarely more than 30 feet wide.
■If you can't escape, float calmly until the current dissipates, then swim diagonally back to the shore.
■If you need help, call or wave for assistance.
Recognize a Rip Current:
■Murky water from sediments stirred up by the current.
■Different waves - larger and choppier.
■Foam or objects that move steadily offshore.
source: Sea Grant