Rip Currents can be dangerous and no doubt provoke thousands of lifeguard rescues and drownings each year. However, don’t panic. Its actually quite easy to escape from most rip currents. This article will show you how.
What is a Rip Current?
A rip current is basically a current that returns water (and anything else floating on the surface for that matter) back to sea. You can usually spot one by looking for an area of slightly choppy and/or brownish water. Rip currents are nature’s way of getting water trapped by rolling whitewash waves back to sea. The bigger the waves, the more water gets pinned inside by the crashing waves, so the greater the chances for rip currents. That’s why whenever there is a high-surf advisory its usually accompanied by rip current warnings.
How to escape from a Rip Current:
Step 1: Relax. The biggest mistake you can make is to panic and try to fight the current. Unless your like Michael Phelps and have some sort of super-human swimming capability, battling the current actually puts you at more risk of drowning, not less.
Step 2: Swim parallel to the shoreline. Rip currents always run out to sea and follow the path of least resistance. All you have to do to escape is swim parallel to the shoreline. Rip currents are usually narrow and soon you will find yourself outside of the rip.
Step 3: Once you have swam outside of the rip and are no longer being swept out to sea, then begin to swim back to shore.
That’s it! Sounds easy enough right? The key is remain calm and understand that all you have to do is swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current and only then begin your swim back in. Oh, and it helps not to think of sharks too!! Haha