As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Are you planning a beach vacation?
If so, it’s important to know how to survive a rip current.
Rip currents are strong, narrow currents that move away from the shore and can be dangerous for swimmers.
In this blog post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to survive a rip current.
What is a Rip Current?
Before we dive into how to survive a rip current, let’s first understand what it is.
Rip currents are channelized currents of water flowing away from the shore at surf beaches.
They form at breaks in sandbars, near structures such as jetties and piers, and 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.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.
It’s important to remember that rip currents don’t pull you under.
They only pull you away from the shore.
Reacting if You’re Caught in a Rip Current
If you find yourself caught in a rip current, it’s important to remain calm.
Panicking can lead to exhaustion and make it harder to escape the current.
Here are some steps to follow if you’re caught in a rip current:
- Remain calm. If you get caught in a rip current, don’t panic. You’ll have a better shot at getting out of the situation if you stay calm. Keeping your cool can help you conserve energy and think clearly. Remind yourself that a rip current does not drag you underwater.
- Call for help if you’re not a strong swimmer. If you can’t swim, call for help and wave your arms to get the attention of a lifeguard or other people on the beach.
- Swim parallel to shore to escape the current. Most rip currents are between 30 and 100 feet wide. Look for the nearest breaking waves; they indicate shallow water and can help you swim parallel to the 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.
- Float with the current. If you’re too tired to swim, float with the current. It may return you to a sandbank.
- Don’t swim into the rip to get back to shore. Swimming into the rip will only tire you out and make it harder to escape.
How to Identify Rips and Currents
It’s important to know how to identify rips and currents before entering the water.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- A rippled appearance on the surface of the water when the water around is generally calm.
- Discolored water due to sand being stirred up by the current.
- A break in the incoming wave pattern.
- A channel of churning, choppy water.
- A line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily seaward.
In conclusion, knowing how to survive a rip current is essential for anyone planning to swim in the ocean.
Remember to stay calm, swim parallel to shore, and never swim into the rip to get back to shore.
By following these tips, you can safely negotiate and get out of rips.
Stay safe and have fun at the beach!