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Rip Currents

Rip Currents are a frequent phenomena on our beaches and are potentially deadly to the expert and novice swimmer alike!

What is a Rip Current?
A Rip Current is a current of water that moves away from the shore and out to sea. A Rip Current can range in width from 50 feet to 50 yards and can flow hundreds of yards offshore.

Most Surf Rescues are a result of people getting caught in a Rip Current!

How do I recognize a Rip Current?
A Rip Current may be recognized by it's foamy & choppy surface. The water may also appear dirty from the churned up sand. Waves usually do not break as readily in a Rip Current as in adjacent water.

When & Where do Rip Currents Occur?
Rip Currents can appear ANYWHERE along the beach on INCOMING and OUTGOING tides. Rip Currents are more commonly found off beach approaches and other low points along the beach.

What Should I do if I'm Caught in a Rip Current?
A Rip Current is not an "undertow" - it will not pull you under. DO NOT attempt to swim against the current. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until you are clear of the Rip Current, then swim toward the shore. If you are too tired to swim, shout or wave for help and attempt to relax and float.

Copyright 2001 - City of Ocean Shores

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